Over the past few years, many individuals and businesses have found social media accounts claiming to be or represent them. And if you’ve ever been in this situation, you know just how confusing and frustrating it is.
The reasons someone may decide to create fake profiles range from vengeance to simply having too much time on their hands. But regardless of the reason, it’s in your best interest to shut them down as quickly as possible.
On this page, you’ll learn how to do that on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Keep reading to learn more, and give us a call at 888-601-5359.
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With over 1 billion daily active users, there are bound to be a few profiles on Facebook that aren’t authentic. Fortunately, reporting them is simple.
If the fake account is a personal profile, you can follow Facebook’s instructions to report an imposter account. Alternatively, if you have your own Facebook account, you can navigate to the fake profile and select “Report” from the dropdown menu next to the “Message” button.
If the fake account is a business page, you can also use the “Report” option on it. However, if they’ve used your brand name, logo, or other trademarked materials, you can also report a trademark violation.
Unlike the report button, which usually leads to a warning and shutting down the profile, this can lead to legal consequences for the owner of the fake page.
In the case of an imposter on Twitter, you can report the account for impersonation. When you fill out the form, you’ll need to let them know whether the account is pretending to be you or your company.
If you select “An account is pretending to be me or someone I know,” you’ll only need to provide the @ username of the fake account, your own @ username, and your email address. You can also include additional details if you choose.
The process for reporting a fake company account, on the other hand, is slightly more involved.
Once you select “An account is pretending to be or represent my company, brand or organization,” you’ll be asked to confirm that you are an authorized representative of your company, brand or organization.
Then, you’ll need to use a company email address (ex. [email protected]) and provide basic information about your company, including your phone number, address, and website. Finally, you’ll need to include the @ username of the imposter account and whether you’d like to use it.
The company notes that gaining control of the username of an imposter account “is not a guarantee,” but if it is your company’s name, it’s a good idea to ask.
Now that Instagram is owned by Facebook, it has a similar reporting process.
If someone is impersonating you, the form to report an impersonation account is almost identical. And if someone is infringing copyrighted or trademarked material (like your company’s name, brand, or logo), reporting the violation is also similar to the Facebook process.
Within Instagram’s app, you can also report profiles by selecting “Report” from the dropdown menu in the upper right. Select “I believe this account violates Instagram’s community guidelines,” then choose whether you want to report an individual post or the account as a whole.
Unlike most platforms, LinkedIn does not have a system specifically for reporting imposter profiles or pages. However, there are still ways to let them know if someone is pretending to represent you or your company.
If the issue is a fake personal profile, you can navigate to that profile and click “Block or Report” in the dropdown menu next to their photo. Then, select “Report” and flag the profile as “misrepresentation.”
If the issue is a fake company profile, this isn’t an option. Instead, you’ll need to contact LinkedIn through their standard Help Center form.
Want to manage your company’s social presence more effectively?
Although they can be annoying, imposter accounts are not difficult to deal with, and they don’t usually return once you’ve reported them. Managing an entire social presence, on the other hand, is a bit more of a challenge.
If you’d like to improve your company’s social media marketing, WebFX can help. Our dedicated social team has years of experience creating and managing successful social strategies for our clients, and they’ll do the same for you. Contact us today to speak with a strategist!