Yes, my name is Roy Kim. Yes, I’m a plastic surgeon in San Francisco, CA, USA. And yes, I have a Facebook page for me- as a person and for my business.
Recently, I was on Facebook posting some photos for my business, and the helpful Facebook algorithm suggested some people I should befriend. I was surprised that I could befriend myself!
And to be honest- it’s an actual photo of me, but certainly not the most flattering.
And then it hit me – THIS PHOTO OF ME IS NOT THE ONE I USE FOR MY PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS.
I guess someone out there is impersonating me- a catfish sighting!
What’s a “Catfish”?
According to the Urban Dictionary, a “catfish” is “someone who pretends to be someone they’re not, using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.”
So, someone out there in cyberspace is pretending to me- and hopefully to do good! They are stealing my photos and reposting them as their own. They have stolen my public information about my education and background- and doing a very convincing job!
What did Facebook do when I reported it? Hint- NOTHING
Obviously, I do not want ANOTHER Roy Kim unleashed in this world. I create enough havoc on my own. – why have someone else do it as well? ;P
So, I contacted Facebook, told them that I was the “real” Roy Kim, and that someone out there had stolen my identity.
This is Facebook’s response-
And as you know- I don’t have a “Facebook Profile Manager” for my personal account. I’m not a celebrity, so I don’t warrant an actual human contact at Facebook. I’m not a big enough business to get a business account manager.
So, I asked them again for a 2nd response- but not surprisingly, no one from Facebook has reached out to me. I am not waiting with bated breath for anyone at Facebook to do anything. So, instead of complaining in private, I decided to tell the world, and complain a little in public! ;)
Why are Fake Accounts a Problem? My Experience with my “Catfish” on Facebook – The Problem with Fake Accounts on Social Media
Obviously, most people would not like an impersonator out here in cyberspace or reality- what kind of mischief could you do?
Also, since I’m a doctor, I would NOT want to have an impersonator give out medical advice, solicit patients, and other things that a normal doctor might do on Facebook.
Finally, this person or software may be damaging my reputation as a plastic surgeon or as a human being. I don’t really use my social media profiles to talk with people I don’t know- I’m a professional, and I take my medical license very seriously. Who knows what this fake Facebook catfish is doing?
Regarding my business, I would love it if I had tons of “likes” and followers from local carbon based life forms close to my office in San Francisco. If there are lots of “catfish” Facebook profiles- well, any advertising spending I do to capture live potential patients in San Francisco and the Bay Area may be spent on completely fake accounts.
You can only imagine how much potential advertising money is being spent on fake profiles by national and international advertisers today.
Can a piece of software or chatbot or spambot use the fake profiles to talk to live human beings or post “real” articles to change people’s minds and attitudes? Sorry to disappoint you- IT’S ALREADY BEEN DONE to change elections in Latin America.
Andres Sepulveda, a “political hacker”, has literally changed elections and the lives of millions, all through fake accounts, fake articles, fake chats, and fake rumors – http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-how-to-hack-an-election/
So, I’m a mere plastic surgeon- but you can see the big potential consequences of fake Facebook accounts!
How Many Fake Accounts Are Out There?
No one really knows– probably not even Facebook! However, an article I found estimates that 5.5-11.2% of Facebook accounts are fake – http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/03/facebook-has-no-idea-how-many-fake-accounts-it-has-but-it-could-nearly-140m/
Instagram? They are owned by Facebook, and they aren’t saying either- although an article estimated it at about 8% – https://fstoppers.com/apps/nearly-8-all-instagram-accounts-are-fake-77505
No one really knows how many Twitter accounts are fake- although Twitter admits to 5% – http://www.businessinsider.com/5-of-twitter-monthly-active-users-are-fake-2013-10
So- maybe 5-10% of all of the accounts on social media are fake? And some of your “virtual friends” that you have never met may also be fake- maybe a company employs 10 employees to maintain 10,000 fake profiles?
What Are My “Real” Accounts?
My real personal Facebook account is here- https://www.facebook.com/DrRoyKimMD
My real business Facebook account is here – https://www.facebook.com/DrRoyKim/
My real Instagram account – https://www.instagram.com/drroykim/
My real Twitter account- https://twitter.com/drroykim
My catfish account- and not real– and not me- is here- https://www.facebook.com/roy.kim.90834
And yes- you can always make a consultation to see me in person! I promise you that I am not a robot, piece of software, hologram, or cyborg- I’m real!
415 362 1846
220 Montomgery St., Suite 348
San Francisco, CA, USA, 94104