KUWAIT CITY, Sept 4: Information technology expert Qusai Al-Shatti rejected the term “fake accounts”, stating that, “They are not fake accounts… They are actual accounts of actual people, but under pseudonyms. This is an aspect that everyone should realize”, reports Al-Rai daily. He indicated that this practice was inherited from the press, as some writers used to write under pseudonyms in the past due to social reasons or because they had positions or status.
Al-Shatti said, “The label must be corrected. They are accounts with pseudonyms and are not fictitious. What happens intentionally sometimes is that the holders name their accounts after famous personalities in order to delude their followers into thinking that they are the same people. They then publish contradictory or opposing opinions with the aim of harming those personalities. Sometimes, the accounts of people with many followers publish materials and tweets that are negative or bad in nature. Some of these borrowed accounts are positive, in case the account holder identifies himself to his followers, but it is preferable that his account be with a name or a nickname with which he was famous or loved, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, the majority of these borrowed accounts, from what we have observed in their practices and tweets, aim to spread rumors or false and unreliable news with the aim of creating confusion and instability. What a person cannot say directly is mentioned under a pseudonym using bold or unacceptable language and words that go beyond the scope of objectivity.”
Al-Shatti appealed to social network users to “stay away from such accounts and not follow them or respond to them. These accounts did not gain importance and appeared on the surface through those who follow them. If they lose their followers, they lose their importance, especially after it became clear that these accounts only exist for negative practices such as attacking others, spreading unreliable news, or spreading rumors and defamation.”
Meanwhile, Lawyer Hawraa Al-Habib said, “Recently, fake accounts have been used to spread false news or commit other cyber crimes, as the data of the mysterious user is left unrevealed. Some believe that it is difficult to find these account holders. However, the truth is that the Cybercrime Department is using modern technologies to unravel the identity of those account holders and subjecting them to the arm of the law.” She expressed her hope that “tough legislation will be enacted to hold accountable the holders of fictitious accounts in order to limit trolling of the innocent and reduce the spread of rumours. The punishment may reach imprisonment for years due to these cyber crimes”. Lawyer Al-Habib concluded by saying, “Some underestimate these practices, but we call upon everyone to scrutinize such matters because those who practice these crimes with the intent of offending others will be held accountable and their families may end up being displaced by these crimes.”