Managing your online identity

One of the things I have learned since I began this blog in 2005 is the importance of maintaining and managing my online identity. It is easy enough to throw up a landing page with a few jquery galleries and a contact section and call it a day. The problem is, stopping there means not knowing what others are saying about you and, more importantly, who might be pretending to be you.

Granted, this all sounds silly and somewhat vain. I mean, who can’t take some criticism? But I am talking about more serious issues. Back in 2006, after I came back from a trip to Nepal, a thread was started on the Lightstalkers forums that insinuated that a friend and I were abusing children during our stay in the country. Worse yet, some people on the forum were willing to believe these posts. It was not until my friend responded to these allegations with detailed accounts of our travels in Nepal, as well as links to our ongoing struggles with the person we believed responsible for the thread, that it was put to rest. Around the same time, a few blogs popped up featuring my image that spoke highly of the same person who created the false forum posts.

The problem is that with the anonymity that the Web provides, it is easy for one man to pose as many, creating false profiles and then providing those profiles with affirmation through comments and replies from other false profiles.

Four years, one fake Facebook page and a few fake blogs later, and I stumble across this gem:

Finding an old post about my time in Nepal as well as a profile picture and my Chips Quinn photo was easy enough, but why would he create the page using a post in which I did not speak highly of his Nepali program? He also changed any reference to my friend Rene and calls her my girlfriend.

To discredit me of course! Who is going to believe the word of a man who is now shooting adult movies and documentaries with my now (fake) girlfriend Rene Edde (the link goes to a porn site)? I literally laughed at loud at this point.

And of course, the icing on the cake, the post label:

Label: My girlfriend Rene Edde. Because who doesn’t categorize their posts based on their fake girlfriends?

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