Mahalo: Violating Network Trust for Fun and Profit?

I occasionally get Twitter replies to random questions I put out there from people I’m not following, but this one had a surprise:

answersNot only did @answers respond, but also included more info. Intriguing. I followed the link. That’s when I furrowed my brow.

The page it took me to demonstrated what I perceive to be a grave violation of network trust: impersonation.


The website has a post, in their forum, ostensibly from me — and not just in name only. They refer back to my post where I asked the question.

I don’t want anyone to act in my name without my permission. Creating an account with my name, and referring back to a legitimate source with the same name, sure sounds like impersonation to me. Am I over reacting?  Or is Mahalo violating network trust?

Astroturfing Censured by NY Attorney General

While not networking exactly, this does touch on our predilection to believe others we do not know, if there are enough of them.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has settled with a plastic surgery company, alleging the firm published phony positive testimonials and Web sites. Lifestyle Lift, associated with Michigan-based Scientific Image Center Management, agreed to pay $300,000 to New York State and stop posting false endorsements of its facial cosmetic surgery services.

[whole story]

I wonder how long until marketers create entire networks of fake people to promote products.  Anyone seen this on Facebook, Myspace, or anywhere?