I hope you never have to worry about anyone trying to impersonate you online, but just in case, here’s a handy reference for the major social networks.
“The best way to report impersonation submitting a web request from the Support home page–be sure to select impersonation from the dropdown box! Once you’ve submitted your ticket, we’ll email you a ticket confirmation with more information. You can check on your ticket status anytime by visiting your Twitter Support home page and clicking on “check on your existing requests.” If you’re unable to submit a request through our support form or do not have a Twitter account yourself, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Impersonation” and include the information described above.”
“LINKEDIN DOES NOT HAVE ANY OBLIGATION TO VERIFY THE IDENTITY OF THE PERSONS SUBSCRIBING TO ITS SERVICES, NOR DOES IT HAVE ANY OBLIGATION TO MONITOR THE USE OF ITS SERVICES BY OTHER USERS OF THE COMMUNITY ; THEREFORE, LINKEDIN DECLINES ALL LIABILITY FOR IDENTITY THEFT OR ANY OTHER MISUSE OF YOUR IDENTITY OR INFORMATION…
DON’T… use or attempt to use another’s account without authorization from the Company, or create a false identity on LinkedIn;
Contact information for LinkedIn Corporation’s Content Complaint Manager is as follows: E-Mail: email@example.com”
“We respect other people’s rights, and expect you to do the same.
- You will not post content or take any action on Facebook that infringes or violates someone else’s rights or otherwise violates the law.
- We can remove any content or information you post on Facebook if we believe that it violates this Statement.
- We will provide you with tools to help you protect your intellectual property rights. To learn more, visit our How to Report Claims of Intellectual Property Infringement page.
- If we remove your content for infringing someone else’s copyright, and you believe we removed it by mistake, we will provide you with an opportunity to appeal.
- If you repeatedly infringe other people’s intellectual property rights, we will disable your account when appropriate.”
Use Facebook’s IP infringement form to complain.
This is somewhat unsettling.
As Google has grown over the years, some of its services were created in-house like Gmail, while others were bought and absorbed like YouTube. In addition, local country laws have different requirements and the consequence is that Google doesn’t have one uniform impersonation policy.
“If you believe someone has created a Gmail address in an attempt to impersonate your identity, you may wish to file a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov), a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center.
In addition, we recommend contacting your state’s Office of Consumer Protection.
So you’re on your own there, but at least YouTube lets you complain. Its Abusive Users: Harassment and Bullying page says:
“Sometimes criticism and insults can escalate to more serious forms of harassment that are harder to ignore. This might include making fake profiles to impersonate or make fun of someone or copying someone else’s videos without permission.
If someone copies videos that you created and you would like them removed, the most direct way to do this is by submitting a copyright claim.
If you have blocked and ignored someone and they still continue to try to upset you intentionally, you may report the instance to us as harassment. Harassment reports are taken very seriously, so please take a moment to consider whether you are actually being harassed. While it might be unpleasant to receive a comment that is rude or that you disagree with, it may not be considered harassment. If you would like to file a harassment report, please use our contact form.”
Ning’s Terms of Service state:
“You are solely responsible for your conduct, Your Social Networks, Your Code, and Your Content on the Ning Platform. We want to keep the Social Networks on Ning safe and fun for everyone and the use of the Ning Platform for unlawful or harmful activities is not allowed. In defining “safe and fun,” you specifically agree that:
You will not post, email or make available any Content to Users or use the Ning Platform… to impersonate a Ning employee, or any other person, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with any person or entity, or to obtain access to a Social Network or the Ning Platform without authorization;”
To complain, email Ning Support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Yahoo Terms of Service page says:
“…You understand that all information, data, text, software, music, sound, photographs, graphics, video, messages, tags, or other materials (“Content”), whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, are the sole responsibility of the person from whom such Content originated. This means that you, and not Yahoo!, are entirely responsible for all Content that you upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available via the Yahoo! Services. Yahoo! does not control the Content posted via the Yahoo! Services and, as such, does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity or quality of such Content. You understand that by using the Yahoo! Services, you may be exposed to Content that is offensive, indecent or objectionable. Under no circumstances will Yahoo! be liable in any way for any Content, including, but not limited to, any errors or omissions in any Content, or any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any Content posted, emailed, transmitted or otherwise made available via the Yahoo! Services…
You agree to not use the Yahoo! Services to… impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, a Yahoo! official, forum leader, guide or host, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;”
To complain to Yahoo, use their Abuse Form.
“The following are examples of the kind of activity that is illegal or prohibited on the MySpace Website and through your use of the MySpace Services. MySpace reserves the right to investigate and take appropriate legal action against anyone who, in MySpace’s sole discretion, violates this provision, including, without limitation, terminating your Membership and/or reporting such activity or Content to law enforcement authorities. Prohibited activity includes, but is not limited to…impersonating or attempting to impersonate MySpace or a MySpace employee, administrator or moderator, another Member, or person or entity (including, without limitation, the use of email addresses associated with or of any of the foregoing);”
Complain to MySpace via their Contact Form.
Other impersonation policies
- FriendFeed’s Terms of Service – complain to email@example.com.
- Stumbleupon’s Terms of Service – Use their Questions or Comments? form to complain.
- Skype Etiquette – contact their Customer Support Team if you need to.