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August 6, 2007

Online Stolen Identities, More Facebook News & Google vs. Yahoo

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Social Networking Results in Stolen Identities

The Sydney Morning Herald (via Marketing Pilgrim) had a disturbing story this weekend about a 25-year-old female was being harassed after someone stole her identify and created a false MySpace profile in her name. The profile included comprising photos, lewd remarks, and the woman’s home address and phone number. How’d she realize someone had stolen her identity? Easy, odd men started appearing on her doorstep. Sweet!

Seriously though, that’s a pretty horrible way to find out that someone has been misrepresenting you online. The SMH states the obvious saying that Internet identity theft has become an alarming new form of stalking, harassment and defamation. Yeah, no kidding.

MySpace has a reported 3.8 million profiles in Australia, and really, there’s no way to know how many of those accounts are fraudulent. The best thing you can do is be vigilant about monitoring your identity. If you find someone is defaming your name with a fake profile, contact the site and make sure they remove it. Sad times.

UK Advertisers Step Away From Facebook

TechCrunch reports that major UK advertisers Vodafone, Virgin Media, Halifax, Prudential, First Direct, and the AA have all opted to pull their ads off the social networking site once they realized their ads were displayed on the Facebook group page for the British National Party.

Sorry, one quick question: Were they not aware this could be a problem beforehand? That their ads could appear anywhere on the site?

I’m just saying, Facebook is a pretty big site with groups and profiles for everything under the sun. Unless these advertisers signed something that said their ads would only appear on certain types of pages, they had to know they at least ran the risk of having their ads appear next to content they wouldn’t choose themselves, right? It seems if you were concerned about your brand, you’d read the fine print.

Two things are clear: Social networking sites are going to have to devise filtered advertising systems and Internet marketers need to be more vigilant about researching where their ads may or may not appear. (Or accept that their ad may be shown on the home page for the We Eat Puppies Facebook group.)

What’s the difference between Yahoo and Google?

The Google Operating System blog had a fun find on Friday highlighting a Yahoo Answers thread that asked: What’s the difference between Yahoo and Google?

Based on the responses the GOS blog found that Google is associated with simplicity and usefulness, while Yahoo is associated with multimedia and prettier, slower loading pages. Sounds about right.

If we continue to read the thread we also learn that Google’s email is still invite-only (shh, don’t tell them), that Yahoo has five characters while Google has six, and the engines are rated Yahoo, MSN and Google, respectively. I’m sorry, what?

Fun Finds

Slate reports that Rudy Giuliani’s 17-year-old daughter was openly supporting Barack Obama via Facebook until Slate sent her an inquiry about it. Uh oh, someone is so totally grounded.

Aaron Wall defines the SEO Learning Life-cycle.

The IAC bid goodbye to Google’s DoubleClick and pairs up with aQuantive’s Atlas.





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