Public alerted on fake Facebook accounts impersonating Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela
BY GEORGINA KEKEA
PRIME Minister Rick Houenipwela is the latest victim of impersonation in the social media platform of Facebook.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister’s Office was alerted that alias users were impersonating Rick Houenipwela, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, while the other is Rick Houenipwela, US Agency for International Development worldwide Agent.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Office called on the general public not to be fooled by these impersonators.
“It has come to our attention that someone has created a fake Facebook account using the photo, name and details of the Prime Minister. PLEASE do not be fooled by this impersonator. The Prime Minister has NO Facebook account nor has he been on Facebook ever. Please do not accept request from this person and help report him. We suspect he/she might be a scammer,” the notice from PMO said.
The issue of fake accounts on Facebook is a major concern worldwide. While Facebook has a real name system policy, in some countries, it is illegal.
In terms of fake Facebook account, in the court of law, it is not illegal but it is against Facebook’s terms and conditions.
If Facebook finds out that a person creates a fake account, they have the right to delete the account.
In Solomon Islands, the country does not have a social media policy yet but an inactive ICT policy is in place.
In this instance, the best the Prime Minister’s office can do is to report the fake accounts to Facebook to have the accounts deleted.
There are instructions on Facebook to help victims report fake accounts to the administrators.
“We are working with the ICTSU to track down the person and we are treating this matter very seriously,” the statement from PMO said.
In August 2012, Facebook estimated that more than 83 million Facebook accounts were fake accounts.