Fake Facebook profile author fined £22,000

Man who set up fake Facebook profile defaming former school friend ordered to pay damages.

A social networker who set up a fake Facebook profile and posted false information has been fined £22,000.

Mathew Firscht, managing director at Applause Store Productions, which finds audiences for TV shows such as Top Gear and the Big Brother evictions, sued former school friend Grant Raphael for libel and misuse of private information after he created a Facebook profile for Firsht containing fake information regarding his sexual and political preferences.

He also set up a further page relating to Applause Store Productions, entitled 'Has Mathew Firscht lied to you?'. The profiles were on Facebook for 16 days until they were taken down.

Raphael claimed the pages had been set up by gatecrashers at a party he had held, but judge Richard Parkes QC said the claims were "utterly far-fetched" and "built on lies." He ordered Raphel to pay Firscht £15,000 in damages and £2,000 for breach of privacy, as well as a further £5,000 to Firscht's company for libel.

"The significance of this case is that it shows that what you post is not harmless, but has consequences," said media lawyer, Jo Sanders, of Harbottle & Lewis.

"Sat at home or school or in the office, it's easy to think of social networking sites as harmless fun, that it's like chatting with friends, and that things posted there are either a joke or just a mischievous way of causing embarrassment. This ruling puts an end to that."

"The golden rule should be to only put up information or images you are happy for everyone to see and are happy to put your name to," she added.

Facebook said: "Fake profiles are an abuse of our terms of use and they will be removed. When fake profiles are reported we thoroughly investigate and remove profiles found to be in violations of our terms of use -- just as we did in the case of Mathew Firscht."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Carrie-Ann Skinner

Techworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?