PLUS a sure fire quick way to spot a Fake Twitter profile
Recently I was amused to find an almost identical replica of my twitter profile and I thought I would share my experience to help those new to Twitter of one tell tale sign that the profile you are looking at is very likely fake…
The key is in how the twitter profile pic renders when you look at it and by all means jump to the end for an example but first I would like to show just how alike my actual profile and the fake one are.
Here is my actual profile as at 21st August 2013 followed by my imposter:
The @WillCamphin is my REAL personal twitter profile
This is the FAKE profile with only and underscore appended to the twitter handle
Surprisingly similar aren’t they?
The fact that the fake profile still links back to my actual tumblr blog is the real genius of it.
This way if anyone were to look at my Tumblr blog with a view to finding out more about me before they follow me or not they would see my genuine interactions which would be current and it may even be this authenticity that may make them follow the fake account without me or them even knowing.
Naturally, in true Twitter form, the first thing I did upon finding my doppelganger was share this revelation and was relieved to find out that others had dealt with the same and some viewed it as a right of passage.
So, at first I was quite flattered which quickly turned to underserving.
I did not see myself in the company of those that warrant parody twitter profiles of themselves. It prompted me to see what this faux version of myself was doing with my name and image.
I knew in all likelihood it would not be much chop.
Any illusions of there being a far more entertaining version of myself drained quickly away when I saw the content. In short my doppelganger was doing bugger all.
Why “Fake Me” stopped is unclear. Maybe this is how all the fake followers are created. Maybe Twitter are bolstering their own numbers. Besides, it is probably not even a person and just one of these “bots” I hear so much about.
After all this, and even though the fake account was not doing much, I thought I should probably report the impersonation to Twitter and it was my experience here that prompted me to write this post.
Remember I am reporting to twitter another twitter account using My photo and My exact bio including Name in an twitter account created a month or so after mine.
Here is what Twitter emailed back to me:
Hello, This email is to confirm that we have received your report regarding an account impersonating you on the Twitter platform. In order to process your report, we first must confirm your identity. To confirm your identity, fax a copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license, passport) to Twitter at 1-415-865-5405. Please write “Attention: Business and Platform Policy, Twitter Inc. – User Impersonation” at the top and include your ticket number . Once we have received your fax, we will review and process your report. We will not process your report until we receive your faxed ID. Please note: • If you are making a report regarding an account impersonating your family member on the Twitter platform, we first must confirm that you have permission to take action on behalf of your family member. Please fax documentation authorizing you to act on your family member’s behalf. (e.g. power of attorney, birth certificate, documents showing parental/guardianship rights of minor children), AND a faxed copy of your valid photo ID (e.g. driver’s license or passport). • If you are reporting an account that is not using the name that appears on your government-issued photo ID, you must also include documentation demonstrating that the name used by the account you’re reporting is associated with you (e.g., proof of registration of your trade name or pseudonym). • We must be able to see your full name and image on the faxed photo ID, so double-check to make sure you’re sending a clear copy. 1-415-865-5405 is a United States number; if you’re faxing your ID from outside the United States, be sure to include the appropriate international dialing code. • If a fax machine is unavailable, you can send a fax from your computer for free through third-party services such as FaxZero (http://faxzero.com/), Popfax (http://www.popfax.com/), or efax (http://www.efax.com/). Please do not reply to this email with a copy of your ID. • If you have previously filed reports about impersonation accounts from this email address and faxed a copy of your government-issued photo ID to Twitter as part of that process, respond to this email with that information (and, if possible, the ticket number associated with the previous report). • Twitter allows parody, commentary, and fan accounts; if an account is in full compliance with our policies, it is not considered impersonation. For more information, see this help page:http://support.twitter.com/entries/106373. If you are not attempting to report an account impersonating you on the Twitter platform, please see the following links for resources you may find helpful: • Questions or requests regarding an inactive username: https://support.twitter.com/forms/general?subtopic=inactive_username • Reports involving your brand or trademark: https://support.twitter.com/forms/trademark • Reports of someone using your email address to create a Twitter account: https://support.twitter.com/articles/110202 • Appealing an account suspension: https://support.twitter.com/forms/general?subtopic=suspended • Reporting an account compromise or that you’ve been hacked: https://support.twitter.com/forms/hacked Thank you, Twitter Trust & Safety
Ok firstly – who sends faxes these days???
Twitter also made clear as part of my reporting the matter that:
I acknowledge Twitter will share content of my reporting this matter with third parties.
This sharing includes the culprit of the impersonation themselves.
I acknowledge that this in no way suggests my twitter account will be verified
No assurance of any outcome are given.
This was all made before the email above asking that I further confirm who I am (?).
Yeah, that is right, after posting links to the fake profile using my name and image I now need to further disseminate my personal information to confirm who I am!
Yes, just scan my driver’s licence with home address to the USA on a fax number having spoken to nobody. No problem, oh wait a minute hang on. This might be a problem given the concerns on security of private information of late.
So I think I will pass on faxing my details to “twitter Trust and Safety” in the USA thanks. Probably end up with a credit card or two! Also not overly sure I logged this with the right people now.
Anyway, this got me to thinking how can I resolve the matter without going to such extraneous lengths?
The answer is this post.
Given the fake profile links back to my Tumblr account and all my social media accounts are interlinked, I can have this post waiting for anyone that may stumble across this fake account and wish to know more about who they think I am.
Mind you, this is unlikely as the other profile does not do much.
You may ask why am I sharing this information?
Well I have only been on Twitter for about 3 months at the time of writing this post and did notice these fake profiles cross my path albeit that I did not know it at the time.
I do not want to scare people new to Twitter or social media but merely to share this little insight I have gained as a way of repaying some of the help I have gained from others doing the same before me.
Now at the beginning of this post I promised to show how this experience showed me how to differentiate these fake profiles from the real ones via the Profile Pic and here is the answer:
It is all in the size of the profile pic when you click on it for a closer look. The fake profiles are usually copied from your original profile so the file size is necessarily smaller and when you double click the profile pic to take a closer look is still looks small. See below;
Here is how the fake profile pic reveals my imposter:
Anyway, I hope this was helpful and if so, share, like or even comment if you see fit to share your own experiences.
Social media is a powerful tool and we need to get to understand its strengths and it is weaknesses.
See you out there and give me a holler if you are on twitter (@WillCamphin) as I am always interested in new views!