Recently, while looking up for myself from my brother’s facebook profile ( I know, a bit too much of narcissism here), I stumbled upon an advertisement from a Dating Site:
I was astounded to see that while I sat sipping my tea, blissfully unaware, I was listed on a dating site I never signed up for, I followed the link given by this fake profile to promote a website- http://matchmaker.com and voila! there I was with fake information but correct name and stolen profile picture.
I was a vicitm of online impersonation and defamation.
I understand the quicksand-ish danger that surrounds the internet world when you are an ‘Indian’ cultural woman. I may have broken free when I started this blog, accepting that my images will be public and despite the copyright some blokes might use it in a way I would not appreciate. However, I never gave the right to an advertising firm for promoting their website by stealing my identity.
Is it okay if a person stole your driving licence, passport and impersonated your identity? How is internet infringing any different?
I had had a similar issue (before I started this blog), a couple of years ago when I found a fake profile impersonating my identity and listing me as 26 years old divorced woman on shaadi.com. I called up the support and asked them to delete the profile immediately. Where is my right as a woman and a fellow human being to prevent this impersonation? All I ask for is my identity should not be used without my permission.
I may upload my picture on social media platforms I have chosen to be a part of; using my picture to advertise for a dating website is against my consent and it violates my individual rights and defames my individuality. This act of misconducted online identity theft, defamation and mental harassment should be punishable/ suable by law.
Though I love my country, I know how the cultural and society pressure takes a toll on women because of how they have been subdued over generations. Who will be held responsible, in case under rare circumstances, the profile they have created has a direct/indirect impact on my social and personal life?
- I am being defamed:
The site stole information which was not provided to them by me plus they defamed be by providing incorrect information on my height, eye color, religious beliefs e.t.c.
- Have I contacted the owner?
I have sent over 5 Emails to the owner through their contact us form- No update from their end.
I initiated a facebook complaint against the picture posted on facebook and it was removed .
- It’s a case of stolen Identity:
I am extremely happy with my life and nowhere close to a look-out for a new life partner/ boyfriend/ girlfriend.
- How many of you could have been exploited?
Zillions of you- my name is unique so their fake post popped up in my case.
- Do I use any dating websites?
No! I have never signed up for any of the present dating websites and nor do I ever intend to. If I were to date somebody, I will travel the world myself to dig out my person instead of relying on a higher fake probability offered by a dating website.
Exploiting my picture, name and details to lure desperate men is a crime and should be punishable.