Catfishing & Identity Theft

The longer the MTV show Catfish is on the air the more questions pop into my head about how legal catfishing should be. Sure stealing someone’s photos and pretending to look like them sounds pathetic but harmless but there are some issues that pop up.

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Image by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr.

There have been incidents that I’ve seen both on the show and in real life where people not only use photos of people to catfish but also the names of that person. To me, I’d be upset if someone was using my photos but I feel like it’s crossing a line if someone was using my name, too. On a level that’s identity theft, which is ILLEGAL.

I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to have some weirdo out there pretending to be you on social media. You have no control over what they’re saying or who their talking to…but everyone thinks it’s YOU saying whatever horrible things this stranger feels like tweeting or facebooking.

One of you friends had someone use their face and name to catfish people and even sent them my friend’s snapchat name pretending they were the one’s posting. Elaborate, huh? From what I understand even nudes were sent to people my friend didn’t consent to because of this person who decided to pretend to be them.

It’s very shady and honestly I hope one day people start having to face legal repercussions for it. I can’t open bank accounts pretending to be other people so I shouldn’t be able to do that with social media accounts either. I understand that a lot of internet issues are very new and that’s why they haven’t been addressed with the law, but as time changes I think the laws should be adjusted as well to fit with the times.

No, the constitution doesn’t say anything about internet bullying but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a problem! Online conduct should start being addressed sooner rather than later. Identity theft on social media, online bullying, stalking, threats…I don’t care how anonymous you feel, it’s not ok and people need to start being help accountable for their actions on the internet.

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