December 9, 2011
This isn’t the first time there have been cosplay impersonators out there, I have seen at least a couple of the more well known cosplayers posting that “this isn’t me” in regards to fake profiles or stolen photos being used to sell items on e-bay. Though this is definitely one of the more extensive attempts I have seen. Most people don’t go farther than claiming photos of someone else as themselves, but this girl(?) has built an entire persona using stolen photos!
The name is “Heather Mikayle” who has several sites and pages out there (a google search of the name can bring up facebook, twitter, google+, formspring, a personal website and so much more). She also has extremely detailed information on her pages and photo descriptions, it is pretty believable especially with fake movie credits. I don’t think I would have been able to tell if I wasn’t warned before visiting!
I came across news of this on a forum so I decided to do some digging to check it out and see if it was true. There are at least a couple of articles on the subject especially from the pinoy community.
It is pretty depressing stuff since one of the cosplayers she is impersonating is the late Saya who died this March. Just for some comparison, you can check the Saya Fan Page on facebook and compare with “Heather’s” page :
And it appears on Youtube (Video credited to Saya | Heather’s Video)
Unfortunately this kind of thing exists in the cosplay community. If you come across impersonation definitely alert the cosplayer that is being impersonated since they can make the best claim for getting a website to take down the images, or take other actions if needed suh aslegal action in some cases, or alerting people that it is not them selling an item on ebay. If you can’t get in contact with the photo’s owner you can always file a report against this stuff yourself, especially if you can provide proof of the impersonation.
How can you protect yourself against impersonation?
Well it is difficult to control where your pictures and videos go once they are on the internet but a watermark or logo on the image can help deter photo theft. The downside is that small markings can be removed and larger or more intrusive watermarks or logos can ruin a picture.
If someone does steal your photos or identity online you can report them and provide proof that you are the owner of those photos (username and email on a sheet of paper in a photo with your face should work well!).
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