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Emma Sadleir on Catfishing and the 170 Million Fake Facebook Users (Video)

Don't Film Yourself Having SexOn Sunday evening the Carte Blanche team joined forces with social media lawyer Emma Sadleir to explore the dangerous world of Facebook.

The episode is centred around the meaning of the word “catfish”, a term used to describe the act of creating false identities on social media to dupe people into a romantic relationship or to steal their money. Carte Blanche presenter Claire Mawisa says in the introduction of the video that Facebook has 170 million fake users.

“Everybody can pretend to be anybody,” Sadleir says. The author of Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex: and Other Legal Advice For the Age of Social Media explains: “If you haven’t met them in the real world then you have no idea who you’re talking to.”

Carte Blanche interviewed several victims of catfishing and Sadleir comments: “Where alarm bells should start ringing loudly is where the person you’re speaking to has asked you to send them anything.”

Read Mawisa’s report and watch the video:

Some people are taking the notion of embellishing identity to a new extreme where someone pretends to be someone they’re not. They make up a name, and even use another person’s picture, and construct a fake identity. When used to extort money, or to pursue deceptive online affairs, this is called catfishing. “Catfishing is becoming more commonplace in the social media world. I deal with at least one case of catfishing per week”, says Emma Sadleir, social media lawyer.

 

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