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How to spot a troll celebrity account. A few tips.

December 16, 2013

Last night, or this morning I received a message from someone wanting to know, how I knew if someone was real or not. This message was more specific to a certain celebrity, so for their own privacy I won’t say who it is.

First of all, you can never truly tell if you are talking to the actual celebrity unless you are talking to them face to face. The second best thing is if their official and verified page has enabled the message feature you will likely either be talking to them or their management but usually they will disclose which one. THAT SAID, here are some helpful hints.

FYI, I am going to use some celebrity examples, but they are just examples — not that I have any association with any of these folks.

I think it’s important to understand that you will find the fan page on Facebook, and these are pages, that you can “Like” and sometimes follow, with musician’s there might be something that says “Listen” and if the celeb has enabled the message feature on that account, if will say message. Those are the basics, I believe you can give a gift to some of these pages. The pages, no matter how many likes they have, if they don’t have the blue check by their name, it is not official. I have known some celebrities that don’t particularly have a full online media team, or publicist/manager that does their social media, so they are left to do it themselves which leaves them very little time to get a lot done. So SOME celebrities have fan pages, that aren’t verified. The best thing you can do for them is to tell them that they should get verified with Facebook so one thousand other fan pages saying that they are them, pop up.

A few examples would be, Ian Somerhalder (Of the Vampire Diaries Cast)  he has a fan page, that is verified that has around 6.5 Million likes. It does not have a message feature. This is because most of what is posted from Ian’s fan page is from a manager. He does have the ability to do so, but between twitter (which is also official) Instagram and Tumblr posting every tweet or snapshot of his shoes, wouldn’t be putting the best face forward on something that is part of his Brand. (Yes, celebrities are just like products and companies, they have their own Brand and the Internet has become the place for them to build it) This goes the same for Nina Dobrev (also from the Vampire Diaries) She has an official page, that she does often post from but managers and publicists usually manage these pages.

A fan page that does have a message feature might be someone quite famous. Example:

facebook-verifyed-accounts-and-pages-shinemat

borrowed from Selena Gomez to show what a verified fan page looks like

And you can see, Selena Gomez, a very popular celebrity has the verified check next to her name and she has the message feature enabled.

Borrowed from Demi Lovato.

Demi Lovato’s verified fan page,

There are a few reasons for this and it ties hand in hand with what the post is about. If a celebrity has the message feature, it is a good indication that they like interacting with their fans. This also means that IF they have a personal , private account– they typically want to be friends, with those who are their friends and that their privacy should be respected.

Now the problem that lies within all of this is that Facebook only verifies public pages. Not private accounts, so anyone anywhere can scrape someone’s identity and pretend to be them: Catfishing for fun, sometimes there are a group of people who role play, some are scam artists that try to get money out of fans, some are haters trying to mess with someone’s reputation and some are stalkers and should be considered dangerous. Stealing someone’s identity is against the law, though rarely acted upon, charges can be brought against posers, civil suits for libel and slander, an IP ban and loss of internet by their ISP. Unfortunately it takes an enormous amount of paperwork, research, and follow up. Many celebrities who have their private accounts, don’t have people like me, who do brand them, control their narrative partially by raining fire and ash upon these particular imposters.

So what to look for, if you have become a friend of someone you think might be a celebrity. Many times, there are people who do this, that aren’t from the United States, or have very poor spelling skills. That should be a first give away, next I would look at their places, or check ins. If you know that someone spends most of their time shooting in New Orleans and they are checking into Las Vegas all the time. The one thing that makes this an easy scam is the blind faith of the celebrities adoring fans, sometimes these people have no idea about their love life, about future projects, about their current projects, who their actual friends are, appearances etc. If you think that you are indeed friends with someone that isn’t a troll, it’s worthwhile to do a little research on them.

Dating Lives:  When celebrities date other celebrities there is going to be a plethora of information you can find on google.  However, it’s wise to look at the date of the posting and whether this is still even relevant. I often see people (and I will use Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev because they both have about a million imposter accounts) posers will use old photos from when they were a couple, as current photos. I know it’s frustrating for the actual celebrity because this is how rumors start and breakup’s aren’t for fans, they are meant for the two people involved. Checking timelines, if someone is posting something very specific and a few minutes later it ends up on twitter or their verified page, that’s a good clue.

Sometimes it’s staring right in your face, if someone is obviously being outright, mean, sexual, flaunting money it’s not them. If they say something major, that you know not to be true. It’s not them. Most celebrities know well enough to know that social media is watched closely by gossip media, and won’t mess up their reputation unless they want to kill their careers during mental breakdown using social media (Charlie Sheen anyone?)

The best way to know if somebody is who they are, is if they can post an original photo of what their account looks like logged in and being watermarked with the URL. The best way I know are Videos and Photos of handheld signs with their handwriting of their Facebook link, their ask.fm account (which they can link from twitter to) Keek, Kik, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr and Myspace, even livejournal. There are so many sites  out there that make the shape of your perception. Trust your instincts when something is wrong.

Last of all, and I think this is important to address, is that if you do find an actual celebrity, with pretty secure privacy settings, that isn’t just a spammed time line, collecting friends with people tagging themselves in posts, and their pictures– where they actually post updates-It’s really good to keep in mind that most celebrities are super busy, especially those who are working on a movie or TV show. They won’t be online all the time, or even every day. Adjust your expectations and don’t be afraid to ask for them to verify that they are who they are. They accepted your friend request for a reason, don’t be afraid to speak up.

 

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