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Creating a virtual profile only takes a matter of seconds…and then a minute or so to flesh out your identity. And someone else’s identity? Just as simple.
Celebs are usually targeted for this unusual kind of identity theft. If you search on Facebook for the name of your favorite celebrity, you will see fan groups, but also more than one profile claiming to be “Angelina Jolie” with the latest shot from the red carpet attached. Will the real Angelina please stand up?
In America, the trend is to copycat movie stars. In Morocco, a man created a fake profile, pretending to be the brother of the country’s king. Fouad Mourtada said “his internet entry was a bit of fun.” Not too much fun, though…it landed him a three-year prison sentence.
The anniversary of the prophet Mohammed’s birth (a day where pardons are often granted) must have lightened the king’s mood because Mourtada has been released—after fellow internet users, international pressure groups and human rights organizations fought for his freedom.
Would you be that forgiving if someone created a Facebook profile in your name? [BBC]