Fake Email: The Achilles Heel of Facebook Pages

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A loophole in one of Facebook’s laxer policies has been getting some unwanted shine in recent weeks: for whatever their reasons, users have been able to take down popular pages (like Ars Technica’s) using little more than a fake email address.

Read Write Web reports that the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) was originally intended to protect copyrighted material that fails to qualify under “fair use” — content that basically has the right to be freely distributed. However, trolly Internet users of late have been able to pen letters under fake email addresses, posing as the owners of said copyrighted material when submitting takedown complaints to Facebook.

But the main problem is that Facebook doesn’t do enough to verify the identities of the fakers in question, who end up causing headaches for the actual companies maintaining the pages. Though they ask for a user’s name, mailing address, telephone, email and details, they don’t do much to double check if the information supplied is legitimate or not.

This wouldn’t be a problem if Facebook started validating a complainant’s email address (like: Hey, click this link we’re emailing back to you… Thanks!)

But my guess is that with all these angry Internet types waving pitchforks at Facebook’s doorstep, we’ll begin seeing more rigorous identity-checking measures soon.

In the meantime, you should Like our Facebook page! Just please don’t pretend to be us and have it taken down…

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