Imposter profiles: Ongoing problem?

We don't see that much about them in the news media, but we certainly do in ConnectSafely.org, and MySpace even has a dedicated email address for reporting them: imposterreport@myspace.com. CIO magazine says imposter profiles aren't going away anytime soon in "Fake Social Networking Profiles Still Big Problem, But Don't Expect Social Networking Sites to Care." Leading with the story the New York Times broke about the impersonating Facebook profile of assassinated Pakistan People's Party's leader Benazir Bhutto's son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, CIO reports that social sites tend to take a reactive approach to fixing this problem. Because social sites rely on advertising for revenue, it adds, they "don't want to make it hard for people to start pages." Until they do, it's smart to view social-networking profiles with a grain of salt. One way to check a profile's authenticity, CIO points out, is a free service called claimID. It "allows users to keep a 'link résumé' of all the sites they use and maintain. If a user found a friend's MySpace page, for instance, he could check the link with his friend's link résumé to ensure it's real."


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