This question isn't about me, though it easily could be, since there are many Barry Carter's out there.

Suppose I find out someone is using my FaceBook (or Twitter or StackExchange or whatever) screenname on another site.

I don't want to stop that person from using "my" screenname, because I realize I don't have a legal right to a given screenname, and it's quite possible that the person came up with the screenname independently.

My question: where can I find a list of "tips" for what to do when this occurs?

An obvious thought I had is to add a disclaimer like this to my own sites/social networking accounts, as well as to any paperwork I send out to someone who doesn't know me (eg, a resume' to a potential employer):

Please note that there are many people with the same name I have (or one that's very similar) on the Internet, and that a Google search for my name may lead to one of these people and not to me.

If you are unsure whether a given page is mine, please ask me, thank you.

Aside from this, is there anything "proactive" I can do to avoid a case of mistaken identity?

EDIT: This is actually affecting me in the reverse direction. I run a website where I list usernames on some less popular social networks, and am getting emails from people saying "I use the name 'johnjjsmith' on twitter, and now, when people search for it, they'll think I'm on 'people-who-hate-babies.com'.

I've added a disclaimer to my own site, but want to send the complainers to a page that politely explains why they don't own their own username, and what they can do to avoid confusion with people on other sites that happen to use the same username.

I could write something myself, but I'm sure this is a known problem with known suggestions?

closed as off-topic by Xander, Question Overflow, paj28, Stephane, SilverlightFox Sep 24 '15 at 13:27

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about Information security within the scope defined in the help center." – Xander, Question Overflow, paj28, Stephane, SilverlightFox
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Don't worry about it. It is obvious from the google results that there are many Barry Carters. Google your name and google mine, you'll see the difference (there are only two Neil Smithlines - I'm the good looking one :-). People will know from those results. – Neil Smithline Sep 23 '15 at 15:35
  • @NeilSmithline Alas, not about me. Edited to clarify. – barrycarter Sep 23 '15 at 15:42
  • 3
    I'm not sure there is an InfoSec question here. This is a social network management problem that individuals, not website owners, need to manage (list their official social network accounts on their personal pages). – schroeder Sep 23 '15 at 22:46

I would merely take this the other way around: instead of telling people about pages not linking to you, I would merely concentrate on the pages actually linking to you.

Just display a list of official contact pages, everything else will be then assumed to be not you:

Official contacts:

  • Main website: ...
  • Blog: ...
  • Twitter: ...
  • Facebook: ...


As per your recent edit, "I wan't to send the complainers to a page that politely explains why they don't own their own username", this seems to me more likely a law-related question than IT-Security which should most probably find better answer on SE's Law specific website.

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