How illegal is it to post a fake facebook profile with a real person’s name?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

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How illegal is it to post a fake facebook profile with a real person’s name?

A friend of mine posed as someone else on facebook just to pick on the said person him/herself. Nothing obscene, slanderous, or insane was ever posted and the profile was deleted in less than 24 hours. Are there any civil or criminal repercussions?

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Criminal Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Different states in this country have different laws and statutes with respect to the posting of another person's likeness on the internet without his or her permission. Assuming no actual damage was done as to the posting of the third person, I doubt that any criminal activity happened per statute of each state based upon my experience.

However, the third person most likely would have a civil action for his or her unauthorized likeness under the common law of all states in this country as well as statute. In hindsight, the posting was not a good idea.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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