Six months to remove fake Facebook page
Even if you don't use Facebook, you might want to consider making sure you're not on the social networking site already. A man from Mission is trying to repair his reputation after someone posted a phony and extremely disturbing profile in his name.
"I didn't even know about this until somebody said something," James Woron said.
The first Woron heard about his Facebook site was when a friend contacted him and it wasn't to say hello.
"An old friend of mine's wife was upset with me that I'd made a comment about the name of their new baby," he said.
Woron was surprised because he'd never set up a Facebook page. An imposter had created a profile in his name. On it was a picture of convicted sex-offender and disgraced hockey coach Graham James.
The Facebook page was full of derogatory comments about women and gays.
There were 81 friends, many were people he hadn't seen since elementary school. Some were obviously upset with the content.
Woron felt desperate. The site was ruining his reputation -- he wasn't sleeping — wondering who was doing this.
And he is not alone.
"I found a lot of instances [online] where people were commenting and blogging on websites from all around North America that they'd had friends and family with imposter profiles," he said.
At the bottom of the Facebook page is a ‘Help' button. Click on it and you can report imposters.
James did that in April but six months later the fake Facebook profile was still there.
"There is someone who doesn't take coffee breaks, or lunch, smearing you out there 24 hours a day," Woron said.
James contacted CTV News. We sent e-mails, and called Facebook and after a strongly worded message about the damage the page was doing to Woron's reputation, the fake profile was pulled down. But Woron fears whoever did this is free to strike again.
He called police but was told to contact a lawyer
"There are situations where that type of incident could be criminal," Sgt. Peter Thiessen of RCMP ‘E' Division said. "But for the most part, I think on the surface it's civil in nature where you've got some slander and defamation issues going on there."
Police call it an example of how the internet is essentially unregulated and how self-policing of social media needs to be improved.
Woron is hoping he can start repairing the damage to his reputation. He thinks telling his story is a good first step
"When the phone rang last week, and I saw the letters CTV on there, a great weight had lifted off my shoulders," he said.
Facebook tells us it's a violation of their policies to use a fake name or operate under a false identity and they encourage people to report anyone they think is doing this. The bottom line -- even if you aren't on Facebook -- you need to be aware of what can be posted about you. Even being named or tagged on another person's page can have negative ramifications.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Chris Olsen