Have you always wondered how safe is it to be out there and get yourself a date or just an “I-don-care-but-how-about-tonight” sort of date with a stranger? Or constantly had second thoughts about even putting up a profile? If your answer to either of the question is yes, then you’re about to invest few of your next moments wisely.
It is fast becoming that Fake Profile, Identity Theft, False Impersonation & Breach of Privacy are common source of trouble for gay men on PlanetRomeo (PR) or for that matter any other social network. Haven’t you thought about a game plan to protect yourself from such miseries? Then it is about high time – Read you lips as you say it – “There is NO such thing as a safe place, it ought to be built and called a Fortress”
Breach of Privacy:
Remember, no one can lay their hands into your private affairs, unless you offer it to them, especially in PR. What’s shown in your profile is only decided by you. It is quite tasteful to know that almost everyone have taken not to revealing their name or phone number, however, what is still at risk is the inadvertent display of personal info. Scan your profile for photos with extraneous information besides YOU – avoid visual presentation of your surroundings to prevent breach – e.g., dangling work ID from the neck, Home with address displayed etc.
Anyone’s identity, if siphoned off, could get more than just annoying and it isn’t hard to guess where it starts from. Let’s face it, there is no safe way of hosting a photo on the web, certainly not in PR. I’ll bet the cute boy down the street – if you upload one, I can email it back to you in less than an hour! However foolproof the hosting sites are, browsers are still foolhardy, even if there is one secure, there are always others that aren’t. This isn’t to say it is a cause to panic, but one is left with a choice of courage or nothing. Should you decide to upload a photo, also decide to face with conviction what may come! Therefore, I’ll leave this bit for you to decide about what you want to upload, just execute caution.
What if I were to become a victim?
You’re quite better off as long as the info is remembered to be forgotten. If you think you’ve have been compromised, besides pulling the photo off your profile right away, feel assured any attempt to connect it to PR with an intention of defamation, will leave your assaulter to explain what he has been up to out there himself. You may also want to alert your confidantes as to what they could expect out of this, that is, only if you’re comfortable doing so. Even as you may come to understand prevention is much handier, it isn’t too late you can still save something – A peace of mind.
False impersonation and identity theft are like sisters in crime, one follows the other. If you’ve been impersonated, your identity that was stolen helps achieve it. It only gets easy in PR, since anyone can create a profile and upload your photo gaining your identity instantly. It is mostly a hate crime, over the occurrence of which you or the site admin have very little control. But a lot could be said and done if you’re to become a victim, know how!
What if I were to become a victim?
Don’t hesitate to report it, PR offers assistance during such circumstances by allowing you to report the concerned profile as a “faker”. Go to Help & Service -> Report a faker or rulebreaker , you’ll find your email ID already populated, if it is not accurate correct it now, then select faker, scroll down and include the faker’s Profile No.1 against Which profile do you mean? And don’t forget to give a detailed description in the next box as to why would you need this profile reported, – don’t be abusive, stick to the facts – include your own Profile No.1 explaining where the identity could have been stolen from and anything you think that could quicken the process. PR is committed in getting back to you on the email you earlier mentioned as soon as possible. When you’re done so, take a deep breathe and stand down. The more you worry about it, the more miserable you’ll feel. You may not want to try to obsess about something that is beyond you. If you’re ever asked about it, play it down – after all it isn’t a big deal, other people will soon have other things to worry about. However grave a scam, it goes down the drain in few weeks’ time, if the politicians can, so can you.
He’s hot he’s cute but there is something out of place about his profile – believe me, it is a good thing to feel that way. Fakers have various or even multiple motives behind their act ranging from a prank to extortion. There is no reason why any of them should be tolerated. Watching out for profiles that solicit, people who offer you too much info than you may ask for or promise you an all-paid extravagant evening should keep you relatively safer. During the end of the extravagant evening, it could be you who ended up paying a lot including your wallet. While you try to acknowledge that there are men who do stick to their promise, it helps to understand his intention, if you learn to question his motive. PR does have some solution on this based on the number of people who mark the profile as known personally. Each profile is rated on how genuine2 it is on a scale of 3, higher up meaning higher the probability of being genuine. This shouldn’t be understood as the ones which don’t have a single scoring is absolutely fake, but the other way around holds good. I’m certainly convinced the system is complex enough to leave no room for fooling it and with a scoring of 3 the profile can be trusted to be really genuine (unless proven wrong). If I were to, I would recommend its use to pronounce a profile innocent but not guilty.
1 Here is how the Profile No. appears; it is referred to as user ID in Which profile do you mean field.
2 The orange squares scales the scoring from 0-3. The number of Friends and Clubs has no relationship with the scoring; it just represents the number of people who have allowed their profile to be linked to another.