How can she get this fake Facebook page taken down?

There’s a fake Facebook page with Cherrine Chery’s private photos, but someone else’s name. Facebook won’t remove the images. Now what?

Question

Someone has created a fake Facebook page with my private photos. I didn’t post any of these images on Facebook.

This person, whoever it is, went to great lengths to find all the pictures. I asked Facebook to delete the page; it refuses.

How is that protecting me? These are my private pictures. I feel like someone is stalking me, or is out to get me. Can you help? — Cherrine Chery, Alpharetta, Ga.

Answer

Facebook shouldn’t be publishing anyone’s private pictures without permission. And that’s particularly true of your images, which were — how do I put this delicately? — for mature audiences only.

How did this happen? At least some of these images started off on your private Facebook page, and you shared with a select group of “friends.” One of those friends wasn’t a real friend and apparently copied the images and created a new page. Next time, think twice before sharing private photos with your friends. If you do, remember there are privacy settings in Facebook that can prevent the wrong people from accessing your personal information.

Let’s have a look at Facebook’s terms. When you post to the social network, you grant it a “non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any intellectual property content that you post.” Wow, that’s a mouthful, but it basically means that if you upload an image to Facebook, it’s theirs to do with as they please.

How to get a fake Facebook page removed

In other words, Facebook assumes that whoever uploaded the photos owned the rights to them. If you can make a case that the person did not, Facebook would have to remove them. You can do that in two places. Facebook has a complaint form for image rights and on image privacy rights.

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Even if you can’t remove the images that way, there’s another method. You can invoke Facebook’s community standards. The images in question are in clear violation of Facebook’s standards

And if none of that works, I always list Facebook’s executives on my consumer advocacy site.

Your case had an interesting conclusion. My advocacy team advised you to report this to the police, which you did. Let’s hope they find whoever did it, because this kind of cyberbullying is intolerable. I also reached out to Facebook, even though it has maintained radio silence for the last several cases. This time, however, it responded and promptly removed the fake page.

If only Facebook had done this the first time you asked.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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