If you can recall, it wasn't all that long ago when I found a slew of Facebook, Twitter, Plentyoffish, blogs, and other accounts all using my photos and/or blog posts and passing both off as their own.
And if you don't remember (or you're new to the blawg - hi, hey, hello!), it's all well-documented:
It started with this one, then more were found, but then a crapload of creeps were discovered using my pics and info, and then another one who got a bit too personal.
Well, the last one returned.
It came to my attention that she had re-opened her Facebook account and was using my photos again. To make matters worse, she created an account as her "mother", using an old photo of me and my own mom as the profile photo. Sickening.
Yet again, awesome people helped me out and reported her to the Facebook powers that be. Surely they take down the accounts that are so obviously using someone else's image and property, right?
Well, yes and no.
They seem to have taken down the account pretending to be me, but refuse to remove the one with a photo of my mother. The best they can do (maybe) is take down the photo if I report it enough. So, please - report this person's photo.
All of this coming up yet again makes me stop and think... what exactly is the value of using a stranger's photos and words as your own?
The bottom line is that there is no value - none at all. These people have nothing to gain by pretending my image is theirs. I'm nobody; nothing. Just some chick from Toronto. And these are not spam, or "burner accounts" as they're known, they're actual people sourcing my photos and words.
If they were all made by people who know and dislike me, just looking to get a rise, then they've succeeded. But what sad person would go to that trouble? On the other hand, assuming these people are strangers all over the internet, why take on the crazy task of pretending to be someone else? How does that improve your lives in any way? Stop Catfish-ing my image. It will not end well for you.
While it pisses me off and confounds my little brain, it also makes me sad. I'm sad that people like this exist. Because if they have to resort to such strange measures to bring some unknown pleasure into their lives, then they are truly the unfortunate ones here.
That said... to everyone who uses my photos in such a manner (yeah, I know you read my blog), I will continue to find these accounts and make them public. And when the identity theft laws finally catch up to the online world, you'll be getting much more than hate mail from my friends and readers.
I will not stand for this shit, and neither should anyone else.