Stealing online identities is a crime, and those who pretend to imposter someone else for money or fame or connections or for any other reasons, they are in serious trouble with the law. A recent case in Chile serves as a good example of why parodying online accounts of other real people get can anyone in trouble.
A man, by the name of Rodrigo Ferrari Prieto, had been accused of identity theft over a Twitter parody account that was made to impersonate Chilean business mogul Andronico Luksic and his family. He is now facing 18 months imprisonment due to his online crime. Often people don’t realize how serious it could be to pretend to be someone else.
Even no criminal intent be involved as some people impersonate other people merely for fun, though it is a silly approach, but they are also committing the same crime. And if found out, they can too face serious charges. According to the businessman’s lawyer, the imposter posted personal photos and also tweeted inappropriate comments that has damaged the man’s reputation. The criminal created around three Twitter accounts, but claims he was behind only one of them and did it as a joke.
However, what seemed as a joke to him was somebody’s real life and reputation, and such jokes are never afforded lightly. There are Twitter accounts made by fans, but according to the guidelines of the microblogging website, to clear their name and to be legal, they must clarify that they “unofficial” and merely fan-created. Same goes with other social networking sites, like Facebook, where many such unofficial fan pages exist, but they get away because they clarify that they are not real.