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Removing a cloned Facebook account

Removing a cloned Facebook account

How to remove a cloned official Facebook account

A cloned Facebook account could be extremely damaging and even dangerous. In a recent case, the Facebook account of our client, an African head of state had been cloned by political activists who used to clone accounts on Facebook in order to post misleading messages to a confused, fragile nation.

Cloned Facebook Page case study

The potential dangers of a cloned Facebook Page

Reporting a cloned Facebook Page to Facebook

Facebook refusal to delete a cloned Facebook Page

Cloned Facebook Page case study

A representative of a President from a State in East Africa became aware of a fraudulent Page that was in circulation on the social media platform Facebook. The President had an existing official government Facebook Page with over 300,000 followers, of which was run by officials to make verified, true statements and comments. The fraudulent Facebook Page, however, was a clone of the official Facebook Page and it was created to give the impression that it belonged to the President himself.

Those operating the fake Facebook Page were posting misleading posts and comments and, by the time our firm became involved in the matter, had acquired in excess of 100,000 followers. The cloned Facebook Page included false statements, real and doctored images and true comments which had been taken from the genuine Facebook Page.

Those operating the cloned Facebook Page were responsible for posting highly controversial statements, allegedly on behalf of the President, and there were signs that those statements had been creating civil unrest in a country with a long history of civil wars. Unfortunately, the fraudulent Facebook page had misled people into believing it belonged to the President of the State and as a result had continued to amass followers on a daily basis.

This was a huge cause for concern for the President and his representatives as the fraudulent Facebook Page had been misusing images of the President and making untrue personal and extreme political statements and comments of which had little to no truth in them yet held dire consequences.

Facebook Cloning & Public Figures Legal Advice FAQ

Cloned Facebook Pages, especially for public figures like Presidents or state representatives, can lead to severe reputational damage by posting false or misleading content. Such pages can disseminate fake news or incite civil unrest and political turmoil by attributing controversial statements or actions to the individual. The cloned page's activities can erode public trust and respect and may lead to negative press and public demonstrations.

When reporting a cloned Facebook Page, responses from Facebook can sometimes be slow, and there might be refusals to delete the page for unclear reasons. Difficulties may include an inability to convey the urgency or potential harm of the cloned page to Facebook's support team, or there might be internal barriers within Facebook preventing prompt action. In some cases, it might even be suspected that deliberate hindrance is occurring from within the platform.

If Facebook refuses to delete a cloned page, involving specialist internet law lawyers to directly contact Facebook or consider legal action against the platform may be necessary. Legal professionals can articulate the urgency and potential repercussions of the cloned page more effectively, leading to quicker resolution, such as the removal of the fraudulent page and verification of the genuine account.

In the case of the East African President, the issue was resolved by hiring specialist lawyers who directly contacted Facebook, leading to the successful and swift removal of the cloned Facebook Page. Additionally, they secured a verification badge for the official page, which helped distinguish the authentic page from any potential fraudulent duplicates.

A verification badge is crucial for official or public figure Facebook pages as it signifies authenticity and helps followers distinguish the genuine page from any potential fake or cloned pages. It adds a layer of security and trust, ensuring that the content and communication followers are engaging with are from the legitimate source, and protects the individual's or organization's reputation from being tarnished by imposters.

The potential dangers of a cloned Facebook Page

This cloned fraudulent Facebook Page was causing many problems for the President of the State. Firstly, he was a respected and admired individual who had a reputation that was held in high regard. The wrongful attribution of these comments and statements was thereby not only discrediting his image politically amongst other officials but by the people of his state who looked up to him.

Secondly, the false claims, statements and comments by the the cloned Facebook Page, in turn created political unrest as it started to result in public demonstrations which would have soon turned violent. The President and his government became subject to anger through hate comments and pages, negative press from the media and a general disdain from members of the wider public.

The repercussions of the cloned Facebook Page and the defamatory comments and suggestions had begun to add up. The President became alarmed as the situation had the potential of devastating the entire State due to what was in effect fake news and deceitful content.

Reporting a cloned Facebook Page to Facebook

The natural response to having a cloned Facebook Page, particularly an official one, is to report the Page to Facebook. Unfraternally, Facebook had been slow to respond to the reports. Astonishingly, Facebook had refused to delete the cloned Facebook Page.

The reason for this was unclear. It could have been that Facebook could not understand the urgency and the implications of having a cloned Facebook Page at a government level. At the same time, another possibility which could not have been excluded was that someone at Facebook was deliberately making it difficult for the President.

Facebook refusal to delete a cloned Facebook Page

In circumstances where Facebook refuse to delete a cloned Facebook Page, there is often little alternative but to get lawyers involved and to consider taking legal action against Facebook. The President decided that there was sufficient urgency in the matter to warrant acquiring specialist legal advice and to consider legal action against Facebook. He contacted our law firm following recommendations.

It became apparent that the cloned Facebook Page had to be removed without delay and that the genuine Facebook Page had to receive a verified badge, which up until then was not considered at all by Facebook. Our specialist lawyers contacted Facebook directly and successfully brought the removal of the cloned Facebook Page within a day.

Subsequently, we successfully secured obtaining a verification badge from Facebook, a task which took a little bit longer to complete.

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