One often overlooked factor of social media is vulnerability. An organization’s reputation can easily be marred by fake information or imposter pages. The hijacking of internet identity is a serious issue because of its potential for long-term negative effects. Anything said on Twitter, Facebook, or any social media website, regardless of who the poster might be, can and will affect ones reputation in some way.
For example, the president of a hospital was recently a victim of a Facebook attack. His case was mild in comparison to some potential threats, but this kind of damage control is necessary regardless of the severity of the individual case. A fake profile was made with his name and employment information for public view, but the rest of the profile was private. The president of the hospital contacted Red Rocket to take care of this matter as he does not use Facebook at any capacity. Any information posted could have had a negative impact on his reputation had the fake profile not been caught in time. The following steps were taken in the process:
Step 1: Identify impersonation Facebook profile.
Step 2: Obtain real information about the president from the hospital.
Step 3: Create a profile page with real information about the president, as well as a statement to any readers to block/report the fake profile should they come across it.
Step 4: Report fake profile to Facebook via the block/report link on the lower left-hand corner of the profile page.
Step 5: Message any Facebook users that have “friended” the fake profile that the user is not the hospital’s president.
Step 6: Notify the hospital that the new page was created with all of the accurate information.
Step 7: Continually contact Facebook in an attempt to have the fake profile removed.
Another thing to keep in mind is the permanence of information associated with many internet sites. Sites like Facebook don’t offer much for damage control on the user’s behalf – a lot of the reporting of profiles is left up to the Facebook community. I have heard mixed stories about Facebook’s ability to remove fake profiles from their site, but have yet to come up with a concrete answer.
A case study on this particular issue will be available in mid-July on the new Red Rocket Web Specialists website.