It seems people have little compunction about using someone else’s name and deceptive e-mail addresses. We don’t think this is a minor offense. Isn’t identity theft criminal?
Take this egregious example from the Ontario Young Liberals Association.
A fake email address was created to impersonate a Riding Association President. It was used to appoint 3 delegates by sending an email to the AGM’s Chief Returning Officer. The Association President has confirmed that this is not his email address, and that he did not appoint these delegates. Like all of us, he is not pleased with how easily and carelessly the people responsible misrepresented themselves using his identity. If this happened once, how many other delegates were appointed fraudulently? …
As Young Liberals in the political system, we learn responsibility quickly, and this is an unfortunate juncture in learning that.
Learning responsibility quickly in the political system? Or perhaps not. Some people think the end justifies the means and they don’t have to be young or Liberal.
We have had comments made here where a name has been used which appears to impersonate someone else known in the community; when we added a requirement of an e-mail address the same person, we think, used e-mail addresses created to deceive. This is a different thing entirely than using a non de plume to screen one’s identity, a practice which has a long and legitimate tradition. Newspaper editorials are still unsigned.
Impersonation, however, is fraud. How would the mayor like it, we wonder, if someone was using his name and an email address similar to one he might use in order to make comments here or anywhere else on the net, especially if those comments did not accurately reflect his views or were written with the intent to put him in a bad light? We have a feeling he would be paying a visit to the RCMP office next door. This would be a legitimate concern unlike those which have him locking himself in a tower like Rapunzel so he won’t have to put up with annoying visits from residents.
We hope the Ontario Young Liberal Association reports the identity thief to the authorities.