Writing on digital walls, posting pictures, and requesting friends is all in the name of social networking when you’re logged onto Facebook as yourself. But when your profile assumes someone else’s identity, it goes from providing online entertainment, to breaking the law. That means what began as a joke, could put you in front of a judge fast.
“Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited,” states Facebook policy. But that doesn’t prevent thousands of users from creating pages in the likeness of their favorite celebrities, or high school dean. There are more than 500 Miley Cyrus profiles and 144 for Heidi Montag (though only six Jennifer Anistons). Needless to say, these profiles are probably not authentic. And if they are not, whoever created them is technically breaking the law.If you’re considering creating a faux Facebook page, think twice before posing as an actual person that is not you. “Operating under someone else’s identity is technically a violation of right of privacy,” says Los Angeles based intellectual property attorney Benita Das. “The Daily Show (VIA.B) and the Colbert Report parody a news broadcast and talk show and their defense... is that they’re providing a social commentary.”