Impersonation is something people these days are very tempted to do. They could be doing it out of boredom, jealousy, revenge, or even just to gain benefits. The victim however, suffers great loss of reputation, money, or identity. Impersonation is one of the most common tactics used by harassers. Fortunately, there are many ways you can file a complaint if you are being impersonated on say Facebook, Twitter etc.


 

Here is a step-by-step guide as to what you must do in the scenario:

Immediately:

  • Issue a disclaimer. Let everyone such as friends, family, public know about the presence of the impersonator and request them to report it. Social networks respond quickly to block or spam reports done by a large number of people.
  • Do not play along and go with the flow. These profiles and the impersonators mostly feed on attention. And providing them that is only going to make matters worse. Ignore it and report it.
  • Start writing an impersonation report.

Things to consider when writing an impersonation report/complaint:

Most social networks demand you send them a copy of your ID to report impersonation, do it. However, it is not recommended you provide your personal information to any social network. It is well established that privacy is key. If you do it for the sake of proving your identity, kindly demand to know the privacy policy and share as minimal information possible. Social networks with millions and trillions of users get a lot of requests reporting spam; you want to keep your information brief.

The key to establish impersonation is through proving that the identity belongs to you, therefore this format may be helpful:

  • Name of Original ID:
  • URL:
  • Date Of Creation:
  • Name of Impersonator:
  • URL:
  • Date of Creation:

This format is usually most helpful as it clarifies instantly that your account was created first and the impersonator has since created a fake ID. If someone is impersonating your account on a social network before you created an account, consider adding detail of your other networks or any information that will help establish yours or your campaign’s identity.

Get others (all of your acquaintances) to file a complaint as well. As mentioned above, this will build pressure and also validate your identity. If you are an organization or a campaign, your avid followers will vouch for the fact that you are in fact the original representative/source, if it is your personal ID the testimony of friends and family is an added benefit.

All social networks are prone to this and also have mechanisms to combat it. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, SnapChat etc. allow its users to report any case of impersonation. You can learn how to do this by visiting their guide pages.

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