Man Gets 3 Years In Jail For Fake Facebook Profile

from the fraud-or-fun? dept

Earlier this month, we pointed to the case of a Moroccan computer engineer who was arrested, supposedly for "stealing" the Moroccan prince's profile on Facebook. As we noted in the post, the original details weren't clear on whether the guy had somehow gained control over the prince's actual Facebook page (which seemed unlikely) or if he'd just set up a fake profile. Further details revealed, indeed, that the guy had merely set up a fake profile of the prince for fun. Given how common fake profiles of celebrities are on Facebook, it seems rather ridiculous to consider that being akin to identity fraud. Apparently, however, the judicial system in Morocco feels differently. The guy in question has now been sentenced to three years in jail. This seems ridiculously excessive, especially since it doesn't sound like the fake profile was negative in anyway. The guy, Fouad Mourtada, claims to be a fan of the prince who just saw the opportunity to have a bit of fun in setting up a profile for him. It's difficult to see how any court with any sense of reason could consider that to be the equivalent of identity fraud.

Filed Under: fake profile, identity fraud, morocco
Companies: facebook

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  1. identicon
    JohnG, 25 May 2008 @ 5:45pm

    fake Facebook celebrities

    I agree with you it's ridiculous they arrested the guy. But not for the same reasons you gave. If the idea was to send a message so others don't create a fake celebrity profile it isn't working. There are still many fakes which it seems Facebook isn't doing anything about. That's the ridiculous part. People posing as celebs are not helping real celebrities(yes some, though few, are on there) and not helping fans of the particular celebrity either. However if the arrest would have prevented others from lying they are a celebrity then the arrest would not be ridiculous. Keep in mind using someone else's identity is a criminal offense as it should be. If someone's a fan they can create a Fan Page for/about that celebrity and they don't have to lie to the public they are that person. As far as I'm concerned Facebook has because of this become a big joke and a laughing stock. Or as one group on Facebook says, due to this it's now known as Fakebook.

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