It's a Snap to Impersonate Someone on Facebook

So maybe it's time fix this little loophole?
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2010 1:32 PM CDT
It's a Snap to Impersonate Someone on Facebook
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiles at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2010.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Impersonating somebody on Facebook is way too easy, writes Michael Arrington at TechCrunch. To prove his point, he recreated a fake profile for Google CEO Eric Schmidt and soon started adding friends such as YouTube founder Chad Hurley and Facebook VP Elliot Schrage. "One person even sent a fairly private message to me," he writes. All he needed to set up the account was an email address for Schmidt, one not already connected to a Facebook account. (He could have used a fake address, but using the real one allowed Facebook to tap into contacts and suggest friends.)

"The fix for this is easy—Facebook shouldn’t let people do anything at all with an account until they’ve verified their email address," writes Arrington. "But that creates extra friction with account creation, which is probably why they let people do so much before they verify." His high-profile impersonation was short-lived. "But what if I had faked a less high profile individual, and didn’t write on TechCrunch about it?" (More Facebook stories.)

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