Perpetrator uses fake social media accounts to harm individuals. The goals behind establishing fake profiles are: to hide the perpetrator’s identity while they send threatening or bullying messages, betray the victim, try to damage their online reputation, and cause emotional distress in them.
Fake profiles are a very common type of cyberbullying that poses a serious threat to the victim and have a devastating impact on their online reputation. It is imperative to take the right action as soon as possible.
Strategies to Deal with Fake Profiles
- Report the account. All social media platforms have a dedicated section to deal with fake profiles to penalize those who disguised their identity to harm someone’s online reputation. Just notify the problem platform manager; they’ll take some corrective measures on their end. In most cases, they’ll investigate the account, and if the account under consideration is fake, they’ll remove the profile and its content.
- Keep a copy of the evidence to take as much information about the fake profiles as possible by capturing screenshots or printing out the profile page. Keeping a copy of evidence could be insanely helpful if the bully doesn’t give up malpractice and you have no other option apart from reporting to the police. These shreds of evidence will help you to substantiate your claim in front of the police.
- Avoid monitoring content and resulting comments. When a bully impersonates you and posts the content online, we strongly recommend you stay away from monitoring the content online and resulting comments. If you waste your precious time monitoring the content, you’ll end up with emotional distress.
What If You Become a Victim to Bully?
- Don’t forget it is not your fault because a social networking site user, you don’t deserve to be a victim to bully. Showing no mercy on you is a result of a bully’s personal issue. Never forget that you aren’t responsible for it.
- Reach out for help if the bully’s behavior is hurting you, you need to take a backup. Look around if anyone can resolve your problem, whether it be your friend, family member, or an adult you can trust.
- Don’t respond or retaliate. Generally, perpetrators expect a harsh reaction from your end because they think they can control your emotion this way, but you can’t afford to empower them. If you retaliate, a bully will cause more harm to you and adopt a more aggressive approach to deteriorate your online reputation.
- Ask the person to give up. Don’t approach the bully directly and ask to give up impersonating you unless you are comfortable with negotiating with the cybercriminals. Before taking this step, you must be determined that you no longer stand for this treatment. Moreover, before doing it, you should practice it with your friends, parents, or someone you can trust.
- Embrace all the available tools. All the social media apps come with built-in tools to tackle bullying activities. If you are being victimised with fake profiles, immediately contact the service provider and inform them regarding the problem. Lastly, all the social media apps provide you with block tools to minimize the potential threat of all cyberbullying activities, and fake profiles are no exception in this regard.