A local teenager claims a fake profile uses her name and pictures and is doing real harm.
When Facebook didn't take it down, she turned to Action 9 consumer investigator Todd Ulrich, who looked into how to protect your online identity.
“Nobody should be able to be me but myself,” Aryah Cox said.
No one should be allowed to hijack her identity on Facebook, but Cox says a page using her name and her pictures is doing just that.
“Mostly delete it because they're putting it to bad use, and I feel scared,” Cox said.
On the page, there was sexually explicit and suggestive material, like a post that said, "I sleep naked.” There were other comments and racial posts.
Her friends thought it was her.
Cox’s 32-year-old sister, DeBria Clark, became her legal guardian after their mother died.
“Just recently, I received phone call after call of people saying, ‘Hey, your sister is posting inappropriate things on
Facebook,” Clark said.
She said the fake posts hurt her sister now and can also hurt her later.
“They could just say we don't want her at our school, or we don't want her to work for us,” Clark said.
Clark helped Cox send a formal complaint to Facebook.
They both thought the violation was so clear that the profile would be removed. Instead, Facebook sent a response claiming the page doesn't go against community standards.
The sisters contacted Action 9, and Ulrich took their case to consumer attorney Jared Lee.
“Clearly this is cyber harassment under the Florida statute,” Lee said.
Lee said there's several reasons for Facebook to remove the page but he said the most successful approach could be to claim ownership of the pictures and request they be removed.
“She should potentially make another dispute to Facebook claiming that this violates the copyright in her photos,” Lee said.
Online, Action 9 easily found complaints about Facebook ID theft.
After Cox contacted Ulrich and Action 9 sent her complaint to Facebook, the fake page was removed.
“I just want her to be safe,” Clark said.
© 2020 Cox Media Group