Scotsman gets community service for setting up fake dating profiles for former friend.
It looks like a certain Scotsman did not take the time to check out our Top Ten Rules Of Facebook Etiquette and draw general life lessons from it (while we're talking Facebook, check out our Facebook Manners And You, because Ashton Kutcher thinks it rocks).
Here's the thing, they started out friends, it was cool but it was all pretend (yeah yeah). Allan Troup retained (what's your frequency) Kenneth McEwan's company to provide cleaning services in 2005. The men grew to like and respect one another until McEwan needed Troup's skills, which were of the snooping variety (rather than the bo-staff).
It turns out McEwan needed Troup to look into his personal life (usually code for a suspected affair) and gave him (Troup) passwords and access to private information needed to conduct his investigation. After doing some legwork, Troup decided to shake down McEwan via harassing emails and fake profiles for him on dating sites. Read: Lindsay Lohan Tapes eHarmony Spoof
For his indiscretion, Troup was sentenced to 240 hours of community service rather than being put in the slammer of identity fraud.
Is there a lesson to be learned here? Sure there is: creating fake dating profiles is really a crummy thing to do. The first person hurt is the victim of the identity theft. McEwan's mug, profile and contact info are available for anyone cruising the web's dating sites to see. Though, if his wife were to come across it, you'd have to question what she was doing on that dating site (like that "If You Like Pina Coladas" song). The second aggrieved party is the beautiful women (or men) patronizing that dating site. What if they really hit it off with the fake Kenneth McEwan? They would probably feel like a real jerk-ass for falling in love with a fraudulent phony. The third party hurt in a hoax like this is the dating site itself. They are not around here for your amusement, Mr. Troup. Everyone who uses a dating site has signed an unwritten social contract* that states they will not use the space to punk anyone or commit a crime.
We've all been in the position where we think it would be hilarious to make a fake Facebook or dating profile for someone, we're human. It does seem like a pretty funny thing to do ("OMG, say that he was born a lesbian trapped in a man's body"), but what separates humankind from the rest of the animal kingdom is the ability to resist destructive (if really hysterical) impulses.
At least people who use dating site fraud to con money out of the lovelorn are doing something productive, this guy was just mean. (Note: I do not condone fraud of any kind unless there is a really, really good reason for it.)
Anyone ever have any issues with identity theft in the love department? Even if it was in someone's "best interests"?
*Note: Most dating sites have a user agreement that makes you promise you are who you say you are.