Social media has boomed in the last decade, and using multiple sites we share pictures of our children, ourselves, our loved ones and even our pets. We update people every day on our whereabouts and what we are doing, what we like and when we are or are not at home. While this keeps us connected to our friends and family, strangers follow us and we sometimes gain friends that we haven’t ever actually met in real life; and underneath all of the good is a dangerous world of cyberstalking, stolen identities and photos being saved without our permission.
Sales of private information and violations of privacy agreements are always happening. Anyone in the world with less than good intentions could come across pictures of you, your children or your loved ones and save them to use for not-so-wholesome posts later on. They can create entire profiles pretending to be you to gain access to your friends and family, and even your jobs and livelihoods. There is a way to stop all of this, but how? What can you do to protect yourself from these people who are out to harm whoever they can in one of the easiest ways possible?
FaceChex is a platform that was created for your protection. FaceChex’s main goal is to stop third party users, people and companies who are not you, from using your private and personal content without your permission. Signing up for FaceChex is easy with just a few simple steps.
They will ask you to upload a photo of yourself or your loved ones so they can scan the Internet for matching photos that are being used without your permission. This way you know exactly where your face is popping up and why. They will even help you to take down those photos that are being shared without your consent through legal forms like DCMAs.
Safety and privacy is the number one concern of FaceChex, and something that all individuals should be putting as a top priority in this day and age of online use.
When Facebook first admitted that 10 million people may have viewed Russian-sponsored ads on its platform, Facechex founder Mark Bauman was skeptical at how such a number could be so influential in the 2016 election. “ads on a pure numbers level have a .001% to (in extreme cases) 10% click-through ratio — the ratio of people who actually click an ad versus how many just see it.” Bauman explains in his Forbes article. This would mean that these ads would have only affected 10,000 people – hardly enough to sway the entire country’s election.
Bauman sat down for a Kickstarter Live interview to explain why a “complicated web of fake profiles across the social media sphere” is far more likely the vehicle used to influence the election. Facebook initially estimated that 6% of it’s user-base was comprised of fake or duplicate accounts.
And that number keeps growing. The latest estimates by Facebook put the estimate at 270 million fake accounts, or 10% of its user-base. Through Bauman’s estimates, he anticipates that number is closer to 500 million. We will be on the lookout for Facebook’s next update on its fake profile count…
In the meantime, check out FaceChex’s Kickstarter campaign to create an online safety book for teens.
Imagine that you go on a beach vacation with friends. You take lots of photos enjoying the weather, laying out by the water in your bathing suit. You are excited to share those photos with your friends on Facebook, but what if you later discover that these images were copied and uploaded on an inappropriate website, sexualizing and objectifying them?
Myana Welch, title holder of Miss Universe Guam 2017, recently discovered that her photoshoot images were exploited on an escort site. Crime Watch Daily highlighted this story, hopefully reaching more victims of online identity theft and inspiring them to stand up against their abusers along with Myana. She has started a movement through the Facebook page UsToo to raise awareness about online abuse and to offer support to victims.
Also, check out FaceChex.com. We’re the online image protection company that discovered and is getting her images removed. We offer affordable image protection plans that protect your online images.
You can watch Myana’s video on her experience here:
The Pacific Daily News reports that Miss Universe Guam, Myana Welch, is using her voice to fight online exploitation.
Welch recently discovered that her image was being exploited on a fake escort account, as well as other fake social media accounts. She was devastated to learn about this misuse of her photoshoot images, but is determined not to let the online abusers win. She is fighting back against the site that exploited her images with the help of online image protection company FaceChex.
FaceChex submitted legal documents to the escort site, demanding that the abusive content be removed. Along with getting her images removed, Myana is creating a movement for other victims of this online exploitation called UsToo. You can visit the UsToo Facebook page here to share your story and raise awareness for the cause.
Myana Welch, Miss Universe Guam 2017, was devastated to discover that an escort site had stolen photoshoot images of her and used them to create a fake escort profile. To Myana, it seemed obvious that this wasn’t a real account, but then she realized others may not know that. “That’s my face..” she explains in a Facebook video. “and it’s saying…things that almost make me ashamed to even read.”
News 3 Las Vegas reported that the photos were found by online image protection company, FaceChex. Once Myana was notified of the misuse of her photos, she authorized FaceChex to issue legal documents to remove the stolen images.
Have your images been misused online? Myana is inviting you to join her in combatting online image exploitation. To take a stand with her, share your story on the Facebook group UsToo. This page is a movement to raise awareness of online exploitation and show victims they are not alone and that there is help.
Watch Myana’s video on the exploitation of her photos:
FaceChex founder, Mark Bauman, contributed an article about the influence of fake profiles on social media to Forbes. You can read the article here to learn more about what impact fake profiles are having in your life (and on the free democracy of our nation).
Stay tuned for an upcoming article about protecting yourself from these fake profiles. You’ll learn how to avoid being tricked by them and how to avoid having your pictures used to create them!
Would you friend someone on Facebook who came from your hometown?
It’s possible you just don’t remember their face because you have a few mutual friends and he looks like a good guy. He even has his daughter in the profile picture with him.
In the case of “Melvin Redick,” enough people trusted a profile based on these facts to kick off a “unprecedented foreign intervention in American democracy,” The New York Times reports.
Melvin Redick was not, in fact, from Harrisburg, PA – the pictures associated with the account were ripped from a Brazilian man’s profile – and the posts Melvin made promoting a site devoted to leaking confidential U.S. Government information were not coming from a Pennsylvanian at all.
These fake profiles, created to influence American’s political views before the 2016 election, weren’t contained to Facebook alone. Twitter was also flooded with fake profiles because, unlike Facebook, Twitter does not require its users to use a full name at all (real or fake).
Facebook estimates that about 126 million Americans may have seen content that was distributed through fake profiles by The Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm. This content was highly controversial and politically divisive and is widely believed to have had a significant effect on the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election.
Online identity theft no longer affects only the individual user whose content was stolen, but can have wide-reaching affects on their social network and ultimately influence an entire nation. More and more fake profiles are created every day – make sure none of the identity thieves behind them are able to use your likeness to advance their agenda.
FaceChex offers affordable protection plans that make sure no one can hide behind your pictures.
Learn more on our Youtube Channel. Below our founder dives deeper into this subject:
After launching multiple successful companies, Brad Costanzo has earned his reputation as an expert in business. Unfortunately, someone else recently tried to steal this credibility by impersonating Costanzo for a fake crowdfunding site.
Join us Thursday at 2pm PST for our interview on Costanzo’s podcast Bacon Wrapped Business to discuss how his identity was compromised to perpetuate an investment scam.
Update: You can watch our live stream of the interview here: