Impersonated on Facebook? The social network is testing an alert feature

Facebook's safety team is working to prevent impersonation, enhance security and stop the spread of images that expose victims of abuse.

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It’s quite often that we hear of some sort of social network impersonation: your profile photo used on a newly opened account by someone who isn’t you, or worse, a blatant reproduction of your bio, name and profile for the purposes of simply accruing new friends and spamming or harassing them in the future.

Facebook’s had enough of it, to the point that they’re working on a new tool to prevent the harassment and impersonation that plagues likely thousands of its users. Mashable reports that the tool will notify you about any type of impersonated account and give you a chance to identify the profile.

The process is wholly automated but impersonated accounts will be flagged manually first by Facebook employees. According to Facebook’s Head of Global Safety, Antigone Davis, this feature has been available since November of last year and is live in 75% of the world. The concern, Davis said, stemmed specifically from women; in some cultures especially, the impersonation could have social ramifications.

While the feature emerged out of a societal concern of safety for women, it is especially helpful among those who have been regularly impersonated due to their high profile visibility in certain circles, especially among marketers who have trigger happy fans.

Facebook impersonation checker tool

Facebook will be rolling out additional safety features, one of which will help eliminate non-consentual intimate images, which have been banned on Facebook since 2012. Victims of abuse in particular can identify themselves as subjects in images that may have been posted on Facebook without permission, giving them access as well to support groups and potential legal aid.

The second safety feature Facebook will also be rolling out is a photo checkup feature that will educate Facebook users on privacy settings, ensuring that those posting their images know who is actually seeing them. While this security is already in place on photos, not everyone is familiar with them and the walk-through checkup tool will give users the ability more tightly control their photo privacy settings.

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About the author

Tamar Weinberg
Tamar Weinberg is a professional hustler and author of The New Community Rules: Marketing on The Social Web. She blogs about all things tech, productivity, and social media customer success at Techipedia. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among other sites.

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