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Right now I’m feeling rather rattled over the fact that I’ve just discovered even more fake profiles using my name and pictures on Facebook – as well as receiving a number of emails from fans across the world asking if it is in fact me that they’re speaking to in direct messages – IT’S NOT! It’s those stinking Catfish again!
Urbandictionary defines a Catfish as: ‘someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.’ In a nutshell multiple people are stealing my identity and pretending to be me online and bizarrely people are believing them. But I’m the only me!
Pretty random you might think, it’s not as if they get anything out of pretending to be me. They can never meet up with anybody as me, can never video call anybody as me nor have a physical relationship with me or as me. Whatever they do can only ever exist in virtual reality rather than face to face in real life. I often question why on earth somebody might pretend to be somebody else, to take a picture I’ve posted and share it as their own, talking about buying the clothes that I’m wearing, making up fake stories about where I was and who I was with when the picture was taken and expressing opinions that are not mine and totally against my views, beliefs and outlook on life.
It’s not just romance scandals that can take place by people pretending to be me but also shockingly monetary scams. I’ve had various disgruntled emails via my website asking why I’ve suddenly blocked people, stopped talking to them and not delivered the sexy strip tease videos I’d apparently promised in exchange for their payment… erm… probably because IT WASN’T ME that they were talking to, because I’m not a stripper and no such videos even exist and I’m only aware of the things that I say and do myself, not the things people pretending to be me say and do as ‘me’ which isn’t actually me. Does any of this even make sense?
Publicly, aside from the misused romances this is also very damaging to my reputation as a woman in the media. Yes, I know that I’m opinionated, unafraid of steamrollering taboos and always primed to speak my mind but what happens when people see damaging opinions and comments left online by fake ‘me’s’ with contrasting views and opinions to those of my own? Does it make me appear to be a hypocrite? A bully? Or an absolute moron? I mean, if I want to do something stupid in the public eye then I’m pretty well equipped at embarrassing myself by myself already and I don’t need anyone else’s help to do that for me. But how can I stop somebody pretending to be me from portraying me in a bad light?
Put yourself in my shoes and imagine suddenly your boss slaps you with a formal warning for leaving a racist slur online that now jeopardises your employment… only you didn’t write it, somebody else did using your name and pictures but nobody believes it wasn’t you. Imagine you go to your parents house for dinner but rather than plating up your favourite roast they plonk a great big sloppy pile of stinky steaming kippers under your nose and you gag which mortally offends them because ‘you’ said you absolutely love kippers via text message yesterday… but that message wasn’t from you and you’ve never ate fish. Imagine you’re in a shop and a stranger gives you a disgusting stare when you’ve absolutely no idea who they are but they’re seen online that ‘you’ think hitting children is acceptable, support hunting, idolise Hitler, avidly collect 70’s porn, disrespect women, have a drug addiction, own over 100 knives and never use condoms! Only none of it has anything to do with you, none of it you’ve ever said or done or even thought of before and none of it you agree with nor can control.
Try telling people you’ve never met that it’s not you that they think they know, that it’s not you that they’re online dating, that it’s not you that said what ‘you’ said to them – it literally drives me insane that this constantly happens to me. I had somebody tell me yesterday that I’d told them my two children are raised on my behalf by a team of expensive nannies and my boyfriend isn’t my boyfriend he’s actually my assistant. What the actual f*ck!? On what planet!?
With Facebook’s handling of data and personal information coming under fire recently you’d think that they’d find a way to monitor and police people creating fake or duplicate profiles. As soon as I spot a fake ‘me’ I report it and have it removed but it’s not long before another one pops right up in it’s place – I’m forever fighting a losing battle to be myself by myself. So be thankful that you’re you, that your words and voice are all your own and it’s not another persons twisted fantasy coming out of your mouth every time that you speak. On the other hand if I had a penny for every time I caught a catfish the.