I usually keep my blog and social media politics-free, but this goes beyond politics.
This is personal.
Someone has taken my photos and my name and used them to create a pro-Trump Instagram account. And so far, Instagram won’t take it down.
This is the fake account:
Fake Instagram accounts have been an issue for years, but social media companies aren’t doing enough to stop them
I’ve known a few people who had fake Facebook accounts create with their name and photos, and Facebook was swift in taking them down.
Even though Instagram is owned by Facebook, their user support is not nearly as helpful.
I’ve reported this impersonator account every day since I found it, and Instagram has done nothing. Well, actually they responded to ONE of my requests saying they WON’T take the profile down because it “does not violate community standards.”
So I keep reporting over and over.
And in the meantime, this account continues to grow (over 500 followers right now) and continues to post more pictures of me and my family.
Beyond “Trump 2020” in the profile, this account has been posting Instagram stories promoting hate-filled agendas like “white lives matter” that I do NOT want associated with myself or my name.
I’m putting this out there because I’m hoping that with enough attention, Instagram will step up and do the right thing. I also want to raise awareness, as this was a tactic used in the 2016 election and things like this will probably happen to many more people leading up to the 2020 election.
Just a quick glance at the “friends” of this spam account shows hundreds of similar pro-Trump accounts that are all likely fakes — and all likely with stolen photos from other moms and families.
Not only is this unbelievably slimey, it’s also illegal. Publishing someone else’s photos without their consent is copyright infringement and violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Some of the photos are laughably bad Photoshop jobs, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are stolen images.
Who is Behind the Fake Accounts?
I have a couple credible sources that tell me it could either be foreign interference and/or PR firms that were hired to create discord and make Trump appear more popular.
Here are some news articles about similar pro-Trump fake social media profiles:
- Article about fake social profiles from December 2019: https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-twitter-remove-ai-powered-fake-accounts-with-pro-trump-messages-11576873453
- Article about a pro-Trump media outlet that hired people to create fake social accounts: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-says-pro-trump-media-outlet-used-artificial-intelligence-create-n1105951
- About a PR firm hired by 2016 Trump campaign to create fake social profiles and rig poll results: https://www.wsj.com/articles/poll-rigging-for-trump-and-creating-womenforcohen-one-it-firms-work-order-11547722801
As far as I can tell, this tactic is one-sided. Joe Biden made a public pledge not to use disinformation in his campaign, including “deep fake videos, synthetic social media accounts and bot networks to attack opponents.”
Look, who you vote for is your business. You might not agree with me politically.
But I hope we can ALL agree that stealing photos and creating impersonator accounts to promote any political agenda is flat-out WRONG.
Will You Help Me?
If you have Instagram, please report this profile: https://www.instagram.com/staceycoleman_mommy4life/
You can report it as spam or as impersonating another person. Click the the three little dots at the top of the profile, next to the account name, and click “report” — from there you can report as spam, or click “It’s inappropriate” to report as an impersonator account.
Hopefully the more reports, the more likely Instagram will be to take it down! And hopefully they will put more effort into protecting the **REAL** people that use their platform and do a better job stopping these spam and hate accounts.
Even if you don’t have Instagram, you can help by sharing this blog post!
Thank you for your help!!