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Man Sentenced to Jail After Teasing Disabled Girl

Man Sentenced to Jail After Teasing Disabled Girl
By Christina Lopez |

An Ohio man faces one month of jail time for teasing and taunting a 1o-year-old girl with cerebral palsy after a video of the incident went viral.

We looked on Prison Pass, a site with detailed information on all prison location that on Nov. 27, Judge John A. Poulos of the Canton Municipal Court sentenced 43-year-old William Bailey to 29 days in jail. The amount is initially based on a bail schedule but may change to a higher or lower amount based on the circumstances of the case. Once an amount has been set, your bail bond agent will determine the bail amount that you need to be released. The bail bond is a small portion or percentage of the total bail set by the Judge. You then pay the bail agent to secure your release. You will get the additional info here regarding to bail bond amount calculator.

The taunting occurred on Sept. 26, when Tricia Knight and her mother-in-law were waiting for her children’s bus to return from school. Knight’s three children, including 10-year-old Hope, attend Walker Elementary with Bailey’s 9-year-old son, Joseph.

What happened next was caught on an iPod camera by Knight’s mother-in-law, Marie Prince.

William Bailey “was dragging his leg and patting his arm across his chest to pick his son Joseph up,” said Knight. “I asked him to please stop doing this. ‘My daughter can see you.’ He then told his son to walk like the R-word.”

The next day Knight posted the video on her Facebook page while Prince uploaded the video they called “Bus Stop Ignorance” to YouTube. Within days, the video went viral.

The Knight family has lived next door to the Baileys for the past two years, and the incident at the bus stop, according to Knight, is the culmination of rising tensions and intimidation against her kids.

In the days that followed the taunting at the bus stop, the Knight family filed a complaint with Canton City prosecutors.

Jennifer Fitzsimmons, the chief assistant city prosecutor for this case, says in the three years she’s been in this role, she’s never seen anything like this.

“I think when we look at cases, there’s case law out there regarding people commenting and gesturing against race and religion. But when there’s nothing out there regarding disabilities, it took me a little bit longer to come to a decision.”

After Fitzsimmons reviewed the Knight family’s complaint, a police report based on a phone call from the Knight family, and the video captured by Prince, she decided to press charges.

“It was settled without Hope having to relive what she saw and how it impacted her,” said Fitzsimmons. “I think the trial could have been just as traumatic as the event itself.”

Bailey, who works as a truck driver, was charged twice. He was originally charged for aggravated menacing, a misdemeanor of the first degree. In this charge, the victim was Knight, an incident she says took place the same day as the bus stop scene.

Bailey, she said, “was swinging a tow chain on his porch, saying he was going to choke me until I stopped twitching. I sent my kids with my mother-in-law to leave with them. My husband called the sheriff.”

In Ohio, a menacing charge is a misdemeanor fourth degree, which carries a maximum of 30 days in jail.

The second original charge, for the bus stop incident, was disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. A disorderly conduct is a minor misdemeanor and carries no jail time.

Although Bailey’s sentencing technically reflects the charges brought by his actions toward Knight, Hope’s mother, Fitzsimmons explains how the plea deal enabled the sentence to cover his actions toward Hope.

“Because the menacing misdemeanor charge was directed toward Hope’s mother, and they’re all interrelated, the judge took into account all the actions of Mr. Bailey and the entire Holcomb family,” said Fitzsimmons.

Bailey “entered a plea of ‘no contest’ to a menacing charge and to disorderly conduct,” said Fitzsimmons. His sentence will go into effect on Jan. 2.

Judge Poulos required Bailey to pay $400 in court costs as well as other fees. He was given a credit for one day which is why his sentence is 29 days and not the maximum 30.

Following the Nov. 27 hearing, Bailey’s attorney, John R. Giua, released a statement and apology on Bailey’s behalf, according to the The Repository, an online newspaper for Stark County, Ohio.

“I don’t think this sentence will change things because it hasn’t so far,” said Knight.

Knight says living next door to the Baileys affects their everyday lives.

Just last summer, said Knight, 9-year-old Joseph Bailey came over to play with Knight’s children and brought over a pocket knife, threatening to “cut [Hope] up,” followed by name calling. That harassment continued into the school year.

Since the bus stop incident, Knight has spoken with the bus driver and the school’s principal. Knight now drives Hope to school every day while her other two children ride another bus to school.

Hope was born 29 weeks premature after Knight was involved in a head-on auto collision. When she was born, Hope weighed only two pounds, 12 ounces, which caused several medical problems resulting in two brain surgeries. Knight says her daughter fought for her life the first two years.

As for whether this case presents a new precedent in Ohio is another debate.

“I don’t know if it sets a precedent so much maybe as it begins a conversation between people,” said Fitzsimmons. “I think conversation starts progress, and I think if it can bring something else to light, it would be good.”


6th Grade Girl Sues School District for Facebook Privacy Invasion

Minnesota girl alleges school privacy invasion

(CNN) — A Minnesota middle school student, with the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union, is suing her school district over a search of her Facebook and e-mail accounts by school employees.

The 12-year-old sixth grade student, identified in court documents only as R.S., was on two occasions punished for statements she made on her Facebook account, and was also pressured to divulge her password to school officials, the complaint states.

“R.S. was intimidated, frightened, humiliated and sobbing while she was detained in the small school room” as she watched a counselor, a deputy, and another school employee pore over her private communications.

The lawsuit claims that her First Amendment rights were violated by employees at Minnewaska Area Middle School, in west-central Minnesota, as well as her Fourth Amendment rights regarding unreasonable search and seizure.

The Minnewaska School District denies any wrongdoing.

“The district did not violate R.S.’s civil rights, and disputes the one-sided version of events set forth in the complaint written by the ACLU,” according to a district statement.

According to the complaint, R.S. felt that one of the school’s adult hall monitors was picking on her, so she wrote on her Facebook “wall” that she hated that person because she was mean.

The message was not posted from school property or using any school equipment or connections, the lawsuit states.

Somehow, the school principal got a hold of a screenshot of the message, and punished R.S. with detention and made her apologize to the hall monitor, the complaint says.

She was in trouble again shortly thereafter for another Facebook post, which asked who turned her in, using an expletive for effect, the lawsuit says. She was given in school suspension and missed a class ski trip.

In the third incident, according to the complaint, R.S. was called in by school officials after the guardian of another student complained that R.S. had had a conversation about sex on Facebook.

The girl was called to a meeting with a deputy sheriff, school counselor and an unidentified school employee, the court documents states.

There, she was “intimidated” into giving up her login and passwords to her Facebook and e-mail accounts, the lawsuit says.

“R.S. was extremely nervous and being called out of class and being interrogated,” the lawsuit says.

The officials did not have permission from R.S.’s mother to view her private communications, and they gave the girl a hard time about some of the material they discovered, the lawsuit states.

“Students do not shed their First Amendment rights at the school house gate,” Charles Samuelson, executive director for the ACLU in Minnesota, said in a statement. “The Supreme Court ruled on that in the 1970s, yet schools like Minnewaska seem to have no regard for the standard.”

The school district maintains that such searches did not cross any boundaries.

“The district is confident that once all facts come to light, the district’s conduct will be found to be reasonable and appropriate,” the district said.


Facebook “Timeline”

With ‘Timeline’ feature, Facebook goes eternal (or at least tries to)

Custom Search

By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) — When designer Sam Lessin started working at Facebook he wanted to make a point.

So he printed his Facebook profile page and stretched it out in the company’s California offices. There it was, multiple years of his life, on a scrolling piece of paper.

A story big enough to cross the room.

It’s a story you’d never see on Facebook.com, he argued, since pretty much all the status updates and photos he’d posted over the years were hidden beneath a gray button at the bottom of the page: “Older Posts.”

“All of the stories you’ve shared over time just fall off a cliff at the bottom of your (Facebook) wall and effectively disappear,” company CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on stage at an event for Facebook app developers in San Francisco, where this story was retold.

That, in a nutshell, is why Facebook on Thursday unveiled a completely rethought version of its profile pages: To surface all the events and stories that are hidden from view because they happened too long ago.”

The fact that this is even something up for discussion is significant. Facebook, as The Atlantic’s Rebecca Rosen pointed out, is trying to be the “forever” social network. All its predecessors, from Friendster to MySpace, vanished almost as quickly as they appeared. Now Facebook is saying it wants to be the website where you document the most important events of your entire life, presumably from birth to death, not just this year or next.

That’s something audacious and new in this ephemeral era of social networking.

The vehicle for this lifelong sharing, according to Facebook, is called “Timeline.”

“We wanted to design a place that feels like your home,”
Zuckerberg said on stage Thursday, wearing a gray T-shirt and one of those ear-clip headsets you see on Old Navy employees. “Where you tell your story online is really personal. You invest a lot of time in it and you curate it. You link to it and you tell all your friends to find you there. So we wanted to make Timeline a place you’re proud to call your home. So Timeline is a completely new aesthetic from Facebook … so you can express who you really are.”

Or, more succinctly: “Timeline is the story of your life,” Zuckerberg said.

In the coming weeks, Facebook is going to start replacing peoples’ profile pages with a new blog-like template, where photos and check-ins and status updates are strung along the backbone of chronology — days, months and, here’s the big leap, years. Other things, like the number of followers would be left alone, which was a good thing because TheMarketingHeaven.com just kept pumping my facebook likes and I didn’t want it to stop as I’d gotten a good enough audience.

The site’s users can customize this page as they’d like, clicking a heart button to make photos appear at double their normal size, for example, or deleting catty comments from ex-boyfriends or girlfriends.

Facebook’s robots take care of the rest. The site’s equations prioritize your memories, letting the stuff they determine to be insignificant fade into the recesses of time, and shining a digital light on moments they determine to be the most life-alteringly crucial.

This goes all the way back to birth.

When the 27-year-old Zuckerberg unveiled this page design, he scrolled to the bottom of his Timeline and there it was: a photo of him as a baby. It was as if he was hinting at a future when a person’s entire existence could be cataloged and preserved, all on Facebook.com.

That sparked some chatter online.

“So it’s easier for kids to put more of their lives online that they’ll regret later in life,” tech analyst Michael Gartenberg wrote on Twitter.

Anyone who has friends of a child-bearing age likely realizes that many kids already have Facebook pages almost from birth — or, at the very least, their early lives are detailed on their parents’ pages. Timelines, which highlight all of a Facebook user’s years, may make this even more apparent.

Furthermore, as Douglas Crets at the blog ReadWriteWeb says, those of us who crossed out of infancy before the dawn of Facebook could use Timelines to recreate our pasts on the social network:

“This new format allows you to go back in time to periods in your life that happened before there was a Facebook, making your Facebook profile into a graphically intense version of your entire life,” he wrote.

TechCrunch called the Timeline “the story of your life on a single page.”

If you want it to be.

Bill Barol at Forbes wrote that Facebook users should be skeptical of this concept:

“The news isn’t that Facebook has figured out a new way to package your life and present it back to you,” he wrote. “The news is that no one blinks at the notion of a giant company being the custodian of your memories. At least that’s what Facebook is banking on. Timeline is your life, their way.

“That is, if you want to fill in the details.”


Why we use Social Media….and why we need to stop!

Facebook recently announced yet more changes in the way that we organise our relationships on its social network. It’s making it easier for us to group friends into lists and from there decide what we’re going to share with each group. It should help us control our privacy more.

For me it couldn’t come sooner because, much to my surprise, recent events have made me realise that my life on Facebook and other social networks was just too public.

I’ve been an active user of social networks for years; I developed a social networking website, originally called JewishNet 13 years ago. I’ve been actively using Facebook for the past five years, Twitter for three and Google+ since it launched earlier this year.

Sometimes my friends have complained that I “take over” their Facebook or Google+ homepage because of the volume of content I share, both professionally and personally. But no more.

Some events in my personal life recently made me sit back and question, really for the first time, why we post what we do and what it’s telling us about the way we think and live our lives.

For a few years, I’ve worried that social networks can be a distraction from real life, can reduce our productivity and potentially warp the way that we understand friendship. But I’ve also seen how good Facebook can be at helping build and maintain real friendships and organise real world socialising. It’s so much easier and informal to exchange Facebook details with someone you meet at a party than exchanging phone numbers and then seeing that person’s Facebook profile.

All that’s great, but slowly but surely your list of “friends” grows. People you went to school with, people from university, old work colleagues, your ex’s friends, some bloke you met at a party and so on.

I think this has made us change the nature of friendships. Obviously, we all have various degrees of friendship. I know who my close friends are and I speak to them in real life, not just on Facebook. But should we be sharing our intimate thoughts and images with this wider group of “friends”?

And then there’s the images themselves. It’s hard to remember a world before photos on Facebook.

It’s become routine when we go on holiday, have a party or a new baby is born to quickly upload all the photos of said occasion straight there. It’s probably part of the reason for the boom in digital cameras.

Once we upload the photos, we tag everyone in them, not only sharing with our friends the said event but their friends also. Again, all too often without thinking first.

I was trying to deconstruct why I do it. I’m not afraid to say that I’m at least a little vain, I wouldn’t appear on television if I wasn’t. But on a first glance that accounts for a tiny proportion of the 750m people on Facebook. So my reasons must be pretty similar to large number of those users who upload photos and change their status updates all the time.

I guess it’s because actually, it is a little like being on television. Because being on Facebook (and other social media) is a bit like being a celebrity. Spotted (or tagged) at places you have been; photographed at parties in various states of intoxication; your future plans (events) publicised in advance and your innermost thoughts known to people who barely or don’t know you. It’s a bit like ‘The Truman Show’, except in my case, it’s ‘The Benjamin Cohen Show’.

The “Like” button (or +1 on Google) shows you when your “friends” appreciate something you’ve said, somewhere you’ve been or something you’ve done.

The comments give even more detailed feedback, “you look great”, “that’s so funny”, “I’m literally LOLing!” Some of even us measure our worth in terms of the number of “Likes” something has achieved. “Amazing number of likes over this” I’ve heard more than once in conversation.

It’s feeding our ego but it’s also normalising what is still very new behaviour. It lulls us into a false sense of certainty and habit that can go wrong. Behaviour that can upset the friends who you might “tag” at a location or “tag” in a photo. The actions that you take without realising first the ripple effect of consequences of your own behaviour. I’ve done it and I’ve been upset at the photographs and location tags I’ve found being broadcast to everyone I know.

I came out of a really long-term relationship a few years ago. We’d been in a relationship long before Facebook and so when it came along, by default, I was “in a relationship” with him. But when we split up, I simply removed the relationship part of my profile, while his went to “single”.

It’s hard to express how hurtful it is to see a load of people you know clicking “like” when they see that news. I saw the same recently when a few of my friends split up. It’s slightly disturbing and it’s something we’ve not encountered as a society before.

So what have I done about it? I considered culling my Facebook friends list. But then I thought that would be rude, and you never know why you might want to get in contact with someone again. Sometimes it is nice to hear genuine news, such as someone is getting engaged or having a kid.

I thought about trying to convince everyone I know to move to Google+ so that I could easily place them in different circles or friendships. But then of course, not everyone would join.

So, inspired by Google+, I’ve gone through my list of “friends” and divided them into different circles. Circles that I’d share everything with, circles that I’d share some things with and circles I’d mainly share pieces of content available elsewhere, such as my blog or the Channel 4 News website.

But I’ve also done something else; I’ve stopped sharing as much, full stop. I used to post things like “having a bad day” on Twitter, I’m not any more. I guess I posted these sorts of statuses to feel good that 20 or so of my 9,000 or so followers would say “hope you feel better”.

I used to share photos of all sorts of things on Facebook, not any more. Of a recent holiday, I’ve shared 4 out of 100 or so photos.

I’m not suggesting that everyone else should do the same, but I’m suggesting that quite a few people might, many have already. Mark Zuckerberg has always said the world would be a better place if it was more open.

I’m suggesting that sometimes the world might be a better place if it was more private.


Google+ will force users to identify themselves.. or leave the site

Use your real name or else. New social network will force Google+ users to identify themselves.. or leave the site

By Hannah Roberts

Web users who go by bogus names will be booted off the new Google+ social network.

The company has recently launched the network as a rival to Facebook.

But If Google learns the name you’re using on the network is not your real name, you have just four days to clean up your act. If you don’t your profile will be removed.

Saurabh Sharma, product manager on the Google+ team, announced the new rule in a video shared on YouTube and on Google+.

The company said it tried to make connecting with people on the web more like connecting with people in the real world, so those signing up for the service are required to use the name they commonly go by in the real world.

Google+ is billed as the next generation social network

The new regulations were billed as an ‘update to how we handle potential violations of our common name policy.’

In the past, when the company suspended the profile of those it judged were not using their real identity, and then let the user appeal.

But from now on there will be no appeals permitted, msn news reported.

Sharma said: ‘If we find that your profile name does not adhere to our policy, we’ll give you a 4-day grace period to fix your profile name before we take further action.’

‘Taking action means your account is closed although you will be allowed to ‘take all your content with you, even after your profile is suspended. Visit Google Takeout for more details.’


Google has begun integrating Google+ into search results with public Google+ posts now appearing in Social Search.

Links shared on Google+ will show up under that link when it appears in a friend’s search results.

Google+ now joins Flickr, Twitter, Quora and Google Buzz as input for Google’s Social Search.

Social Search debuted in 2009 at the Web 2.0 Summit, partly as a response to Bing’s integration with Facebook and Twitter.

Social Search highlights links a user’s friends are sharing on the web and returns ‘relevant’ results based on your friends’ interests.

The news immediately angered users.

‘Gwyddonaid’ on YouTube said: ‘I will be removing Google+ from my online activities. There are many reasons for the use of pseudonyms, including personal safety. For years, we have instructed children and others to not use their ‘real names’ online for privacy and safety concerns. Now Google, in its INFINITE UNwisdom? decrees that only ‘real names’ will be used,” said ‘Goodbye, Google. So much for ‘do no evil.’

Emilio Osorio wrote: ‘What about the necessity of those involved in risky political environments and the use of Google+ as a reach out medium? How’s google+ going to handle those real needs of the rest of us that are living in unsecure places (like Mexico)? Or google+ just needs to be considered as a “linkedin/facebook” thing with only rosy politically correct content?’

And said another: ‘No. I’ll gladly give you my real name, you can keep it, give it to advertisers, I really don’t care, that’s OK with me, its part of the service and I understand that, but, I will not have my display name as my ‘real’ legal name, I just simply don’t use that name with people, I don’t use it on the web,? its not me, I don’t like it, I won’t do it.’

Read more: SOURCE

And you thought Internet dating was hard before! Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media

Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media Military’s ‘sock puppet’ software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda

General David Petraeus has previously said US online psychological operations are aimed at ‘countering extremist ideology and propaganda’.

The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

Sooooo fake...................like duh!

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

The project has been likened by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as “sock puppets” – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries”.

Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: “The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US.”

He said none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to “address US audiences” with such technology, and any English-language use of social media by Centcom was always clearly attributed. The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto.

Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated Facebook messages, blogposts, tweets, retweets, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command.

Centcom’s contract requires for each controller the provision of one “virtual private server” located in the United States and others appearing to be outside the US to give the impression the fake personas are real people located in different parts of the world.

It also calls for “traffic mixing”, blending the persona controllers’ internet usage with the usage of people outside Centcom in a manner that must offer “excellent cover and powerful deniability”.

The multiple persona contract is thought to have been awarded as part of a programme called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces. Since then, OEV is reported to have expanded into a $200m programme and is thought to have been used against jihadists across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Hmmmm this ONE could be real....do they have wifi in Tora Bora?

OEV is seen by senior US commanders as a vital counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation programme. In evidence to the US Senate’s armed services committee last year, General David Petraeus, then commander of Centcom, described the operation as an effort to “counter extremist ideology and propaganda and to ensure that credible voices in the region are heard”. He said the US military’s objective was to be “first with the truth”.

This month Petraeus’s successor, General James Mattis, told the same committee that OEV “supports all activities associated with degrading the enemy narrative, including web engagement and web-based product distribution capabilities”.

Centcom confirmed that the $2.76m contract was awarded to Ntrepid, a newly formed corporation registered in Los Angeles. It would not disclose whether the multiple persona project is already in operation or discuss any related contracts.

Nobody was available for comment at Ntrepid.

In his evidence to the Senate committee, Gen Mattis said: “OEV seeks to disrupt recruitment and training of suicide bombers; deny safe havens for our adversaries; and counter extremist ideology and propaganda.” He added that Centcom was working with “our coalition partners” to develop new techniques and tactics the US could use “to counter the adversary in the cyber domain”.

According to a report by the inspector general of the US defence department in Iraq, OEV was managed by the multinational forces rather than Centcom.

Asked whether any UK military personnel had been involved in OEV, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said it could find “no evidence”. The MoD refused to say whether it had been involved in the development of persona management programmes, saying: “We don’t comment on cyber capability.”

OEV was discussed last year at a gathering of electronic warfare specialists in Washington DC, where a senior Centcom officer told delegates that its purpose was to “communicate critical messages and to counter the propaganda of our adversaries”.

Persona management by the US military would face legal challenges if it were turned against citizens of the US, where a number of people engaged in sock puppetry have faced prosecution.

Kaspersky Lab E-Store

Last year a New York lawyer who impersonated a scholar was sentenced to jail after being convicted of “criminal impersonation” and identity theft.

It is unclear whether a persona management programme would contravene UK law. Legal experts say it could fall foul of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, which states that “a person is guilty of forgery if he makes a false instrument, with the intention that he or another shall use it to induce somebody to accept it as genuine, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to his own or any other person’s prejudice”. However, this would apply only if a website or social network could be shown to have suffered “prejudice” as a result.


How to Detect a Fake Facebook Profile

Posted by dotJenna on May 3rd, 2010 in Facebook Tips

BEWARE!!! Do not automatically assume that all your Facebook friends are real people, or are who they say they are. There are crooks, liars, thiefs and predators who create false profiles using other people’s identities and stolen pictures. The anonymity of the web gives the perfect cover for bad people. I’ve heard some heart-breaking stories ranging from fake relationships to rape and murder. Please pass this article. Check your friend list and eliminate anyone you suspect may be a fake. It could be a matter of life and death for you, or someone in your network.

Stay alert when allowing friends into your network. We share a lot of information on these sites; data that in the wrong hands can be disastrous. The fakes are pretty easy to spot once you know their sneaky tricks. I found a few fake Facebook profiles that are sprinkled throughout this article. Click on the images below to see a larger view of what fake profilers do.

How Fake Profilers Work

Someone operating with a false made-up identity is a con. Do not be naive. Con-artists prey on vulnerabilities of unsuspecting people, seeking to defraud them out of value (ie: money, attention, sex or worse). Most of us don’t think like criminals, so it’s hard to fathom deliberate deception. Frauds, liars and crooks however, prey on this weakness, knowing we don’t suspect foul play. We must be vigilant. It’s unpleasant to ponder, but we must realize that bad people who mean harm are lurking in our friendly networks. Stay alert, especially when it comes to letting people see your very personal and private information. Tell every teen you know as they are more susceptible to flattery and in need of attention, and can suffer serious consequences.

Be leery of anyone who is too friendly, too “into” your everything you post or complimenting you daily. This is not normal behavior and could be an imposter trying to flatter you. It’s hard to resist when someone feeds your ego, saying everything you want to hear, but don’t be a mark. Fake creeps are not sincere.

Dirty Tricks

Most fakers have several fake profiles on the web, so do not be fooled if you are friends with two people who interact and vouch for one another. This happened to me, and turned out to be one person. Imposters will also try to make you more comfortable by interacting with your other friends and family members. They create fake relationships, fake Twitter profiles, fake websites and anything else that will get you to take your guard down and trust them. I’ve seen companies created, false addresses given and fake voice mailboxes set-up. (No, I’m not kidding, wish I were.)

Fakers Go Unexposed

It is humiliating to be duped by an imposter, so many instances of harm by these crooks go unreported in your network. Shame and embarrassment stop the “viral” process. Chances that you have a harmful person posing with a fake profile on your Facebook profile are very high. If a faker wants something from you, he or she will tell you everything you want to hear while pumping you for private information. He or she will then try to blackmail you to keep you quiet. Facebook imposters are not stupid. They know how to keep their identity concealed, even after their victims know the truth.

Every Man for Himself

Unfortunately there is no law yet for operating a fake Facebook Profile. There is a huge gap in legislature regarding the web. Technology is moving so fast while our government seems to be getting slower. The web is like the Wild West where you must take care of yourself by arming yourself with knowledge. No one will take care of the validity of your network for you. You must do so for yourself and your family members. There are laws under consideration due to serious crimes that have occurred, but these laws apply to children and teens, not adults. We need to get the word out to save heartache and lives.

Carefully Consider Your Friends

Don’t get in a hurry when allowing friends into your network. Check the profile carefully to make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate person. Before accepting a friend request from someone you’ve never met in person, check them out thoroughly.

Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Friend

If more than 2-3 of the following points are true, you’re very likely dealing with a fake person. I recommend deleting them or blocking their profile. Not every fake profiler intends you harm at all, but then again, why are they hiding? Create your own set of boundaries to determine what profiles you allow into your network. Don’t just let anyone in, even if you’re a marketer.

Does the pic look perfect?

A perfect pic is cause for alert. People are not perfect, so check any profile carefully that has a model photo or a stock photo as the profile picture. This also applies for pics of beautiful women and handsome men. Don’t let your libido drive you to trusting someone because they fulfill a fantasy. Make sure the person is not really a troll in real life.

Do you see pics of the person’s family?

A real person will have pics of family on their Facebook Profile. If a person does not, it doesn’t mean it’s fake, just let that be a red-flag.

Is the person tagged by anyone on the web?

A real person will have friends on Facebook with whom they are engaging. A real person has a life and will have tagged photos of him or herself in the Photo Gallery.

Are there more photos of objects than the person?

Fakers often try to make the photo area full by adding pics of odd items like flowers, trees, and other graphics. Real people don’t usually add a zillion object-oriented photos to their Facebook Account. If they do, then they will also have personal pics too.

Does the person talk?

A faker may have so many fake accounts, he or she can’t comment regularly. I have seen fake profilers comment often, so this is not always the case, but sometimes you can tell from the posts made if the person is legitimate. Some fake profiles are easier to distinguish than others.

Does the person fulfill your every fantasy?

If a really cute girl is acting like a total slut, saying all the right things, chances are it’s really a guy living out his fantasies. (Sorry, but welcome to Facebook.) Same goes for a hot guy telling you that you’re the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen–if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Does the person have several photos?

Beware because entire photo albums can easily be stolen. Real Facebook photos are added in layers. A cute girl who seems socially active will have SEVERAL photo albums, not just 1-2. A cute girl (or guy) will also have SEVERAL profile pics. If you see a profile with 1-2 photos of a person and then several pics of objects, you know it’s a fake. Photos can be easily swiped from other profiles anywhere in the world. A profile with only 1 picture is a fake unless the person is brand new.

Does the person interact with his or her FB friends outside of FB?
You can tell this by the people who post on the page. Fakes operate only on the web, they won’t have posts, comments or photos of real-life activities. The posts will all be related to Facebook activities. If there is interaction, a faker will have it only with “Facebook” friends. Look for signs of real life–especially photos. Photos of outside activities need to have the person’s pics throughout.

Are there several “doo dad” widgets on the Profile page?

Fakes will use a lot of widgets to try to “beef up” the page and make it look more used. Too many widgets is a sign that a page is a fake.

Is the info area filled out completely?

A sparse info page can be a sign of a fake, however, I’ve seen fake profiles with very elaborate made-up personal info on the info page–so don’t let this be the only thing you check. Go to the website. Don’t trust the Twitter account because fakers can easily create a fake Twitter account to fool you.

Can the person be found in a Google Search?

Practically everyone has info on themselves on Google. Check the person in Google. Find websites from prior years listing the person. Do not accept as proof recent social media profiles or recent websites. Many fakers are very astute in web design and can whip up websites in a jiffy. Find proof of a life prior to this year. Find pics of earlier times, even it it’s just 2 years ago.

Does the person give his or her full name?

A full name should be given on the profile, not a fake name. This is not the only indicator, but one of the things you want to check.

Do Not Be Fooled

Do not be fooled by the following:

* The person seems normal.
* The person is friends with many of your friends already.
* The person engages with you regularly.

Allowing Fakes to Get Close to You

The real danger is in allowing someone who is not real into your social circle, where you interact and engage directly with them. This is dangerous because bonds are built between people, and you may be building a relationship with a non-existent person. That’s a terrible experience for anyone to endure. Several people have had this happen that I know. It’s a real problem.

The most vulnerable are young people who are seeking approval and may be susceptible to the cunning words of a liar.

I want to protect you from predators out there who steal other people’s pictures and identities, add a fake name and pretend like they are someone else on Facebook. Beware of Fake Facebook Profiles. The anonymity of the web gives crooks, liars and cheaters the perfect front to their game. Test every person. Don’t be afraid to look their name up on the internet. Spread the word.