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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Someone Posting Comments Online Using My Name

    My question involves defamation in the state of: Arizona

    I am a writer and blogger writing about controversial subjects in Arizona. I have joined many "causes" pages on Facebook that support my point of view to gather information for my writing and voice my opinion. In the course of this I've unfortunately attracted the attention of people who vehemently disagree with my point of view including one person who has used my name as as his own to post comments both on Facebook and on other online sites, including news articles. His posts espouse ideas are directly in conflict to my own and include hate-speech and even condone violence. He has changed one letter in my name (and sometimes he also uses my middle name, again with a couple of letters changed but since my name is unusual it's obvious that he's imitating me) I've had numerous people ask if it is I who is making these postings.

    I've taken screenshots of his posts and reported to the Internet Crimes Complaint Center as a defamation of character but am wondering if I have any grounds here, especially since I do have an online presence that includes publication of my own writing online and a reputation that I value greatly.

    Any advice would be most welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Someone Posting Comments Online Using My Name

    We don't know anything about your situation beyond what you've told us. "Somebody posts under a name similar to mine" isn't of itself necessarily sufficient to support a legal action, and we could be talking parody. If people come to see what you've actually written and read the opposite of what this person wrote, why would they believe it is you? If in fact there is confusion, have you posted anything on your own site(s) to indicate that the fake-name person isn't you?

    If somebody is imitating you on Facebook or similar sites, you may be able to get action taken for violation of the TOS.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Someone Posting Comments Online Using My Name

    I don't believe the person posting using my name is doing parody, especially when he advocates shooting people. There is just one letter in my name changed so anyone reading it would definitely assume it is I doing the posts with perhaps a small typo in my name and indeed I've been asked why I've made such postings.
    I haven't made any reference to this on the sites I post my articles on (but have spread the word through private networking). I'm not sure if it would help or give the person who is harassing me some satisfaction because he's elicited a response. I honestly think this is a pretty sick individual.
    Unfortunately Facebook is so large that they are pretty unresponsive to complaints like this. And these people create fake profiles constantly to circumvent any action taken against them. I've seen one "troll" create over 100 fake profiles when he was repeatedly banned from a page for offensive behavior. They even use multiple IP addresses, they are very dedicated to their cause, sad to say.

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