Jul 24, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT
You’d think that Steve Yzerman would be pretty busy, what with his new job as the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning and all the activity that entails. Yet, there he seemed to be to many on Facebook … accepting friends and sharing status updates one might expect to see from an NHL GM.
The not-so-surprising fact is that wasn’t actually Yzerman behind the account, though. Tampa Bay’s SBNation blog has more on the odd (if increasingly common) story of Internet fraud.
A couple of weeks ago, somebody set up a Facebook account under the name Steve Yzerman. They posted a picture of him on the profile, started adding “friends” and began posting status updates. It seemed like it could have been legit: whoever it was, they were not engaging in back and forth dialogue and most of the status updates were things you’d expect the general manager of a rebuilding NHL franchise to say.
But the other day, the account simply disappeared, and a source in a position to know confirmed that the whole thing was a fraud.
Whether the person who opened the account is the same one responsible for removing it is unknown. Could be that Facebook received complaints and shut it down. Unlike Twitter, Facebook doesn’t verify user accounts as genuine, only stating in their terms of service that “You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.” Violation of the terms of service results in being kicked off the service.
Though the guilty party might be reprimanded, it seems like this falls under the “Immature Hoax” category on the scale of Internet impersonations.* After all, I don’t recall anything about Pseudo-Yzerman requesting money or developing any season ticket “discount” schemes.
* – In case you’re wondering, Down Goes Brown’s fake Brian Burke Twitter account should be filed under “Hilariously misunderstood impersonations” while typical moneymaking schemes are classified as “Evidence of true evil.”
You can’t expect the Yzermans of the world to keep track of every mischievous social network scheme out there, although this is yet another indication that famous people might want to at least have an intern look into these things. (In between fetching coffee and making copies, of course.)
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