Thursday, September 17, 2015

With Lecture I Puncture The Structure Of Lies

Anyone who posts photos online is potentially setting themselves up for copycats. We all may realize this, but rarely think about it.  A few years back, strangers from all over the place were getting in touch with me and letting me know about people with Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, and profiles on dating sites using my photos and passing them off as their own. Sometimes even using my blog posts as their personal updates.

At first I was furious. Then, probably even worse, I kinda got used to it. What could I do? Every time I managed to get one of their accounts shut down (which wasn't often, because it's not easily done), another one would inevitably pop up.

Fake Kris' everywhere. What a scary world that is.

In the years that have passed since my first outraged announcement about these false accounts, I haven't blogged any more about them. But they're still around. Maybe less often, possibly since I hardly post anymore, but it still happens quite a bit. Every once in awhile someone, usually male, will message me and let me know that he had been speaking to someone online for an extended amount of time, and they used my photos as their own. Sometimes guys thought they were dating these girls online, only to find that the photos actually belonged to some chick in Canada. Me.

Then, recently, I got this one via direct Instagram message, along with a photo of a painting:

I didn't respond right away, and then when I was going to (to write this post), he had deleted the picture and messages he sent. Fair enough. It's always an awkward conversation when people think they're friends or even in a relationship with someone and then realize it's all been fake, and the photos are of someone else entirely. I get it.

So why bother bringing this up again, since I've already called these people out in old (very old) posts? I figure they're due for another reminder. I may now watermark photos of myself and post fewer pictures with me actually in them, but it doesn't stop this from happening. The only way to truly stop it is to stay offline and go analog, hiding away somewhere like a mole-person. And I'm not doing that, though it almost sounds kinda fun, because that makes it parallel to being bullied. These people aren't worth it.

The truth is, this doesn't piss me off as much as it used to. But I do feel bad for the guys and girls who are being lied to. Without going into too much detail, some of these stories have been sad. People have been hurt, all by someone who didn't really exist.

If you're one of those losers who has the genius idea to steal someone's photos online, pass them off as your own to mess around with another person, please - don't bother. It's a useless endeavor, and one that needlessly harms others. Inevitably, they do some searching and figure it out. They come to me, and sometimes we can do some digging and learn exactly who YOU are. I don't want to hear made up back stories about where I got my dog, where I'm from, or even how you felt when your (my) family member passed away. Use your own stories, your own photos, and stop watching Catfish and thinking it's a good idea.

It isn't.

Yeah, what she said. Do that.

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