Well, so was I when I received a message from a friend with a link to a Facebook profile, asking if this profile was me. Curious, I clicked the link, only to be told the link wasn’t valid. I shrugged, wrote back to my friend telling her the link didn’t work, and put it out of my mind… until my friend wrote back saying the link did still work and it opened a Talli Roland profile — complete with one of my book covers as the profile picture and with many of my friends. The reason the link didn’t work for me when logged into my ‘real’ profile? I’d been blocked.
Yikes! Who would take the time to set up a profile under my name, steal my profile pic and friend my friends, then block the real me from seeing that profile? The mind boggles, but it turns out I’m not alone. Once I posted on Facebook about the fake Talli Roland profile, several other writers came forward to say the same thing had happened to them. In one instance, the ‘fake’ author had even been answering emails from readers! In another, the faker was contacting friends via messenger for goodness knows what reason. Bianca Bosker at the Huffington Post had a truly bizarre experience with her fake Facebooker, too.
So, what to do if you happen upon someone impersonating you on Facebook? The best strategy is to report the profile through the button on the top right-hand corner of their profile. That gets tricky, though, when you’ve been blocked from seeing the faker! Once I discovered I’d been impersonated, I asked all my friends to report the profile, and within a couple days, it was removed.
Social media is a fantastic way for writers to connect with other writers as well as readers, but it does leave us open to a whole raft of other issues. Be vigilant, be careful about the information you share, and act quickly if one of your accounts is violated.
Have you been impersonated on Facebook or experienced issues with social media?