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Friday, November 14, 2014

Is Rand Fishkin on tsū? Will the real Rand Fishkin please stand up?

Is Rand Fishkin on tsū?  

One day last week when I was out on mobile, I messaged +Ammon Johns in utter excitement because I saw that Rand_Fishkin followed and friended me on tsū. If this had happened anywhere else, I'd have thought twice about believing it was the real Rand. But the truth of the matter is that Ammon and +Bill Slawski (friends with Rand) are my tsū children, and so it all seemed logical that if +Rand Fishkin was going to check out the new platform he might connect with me there on the basis of association. New platforms are like that as I've come to learn from having been an early adopter on Ello.

When I got home, I rushed to my desktop to check out my new connection... 

"Hmm... It looks like +Rand Fishkin," I thought to myself...

Looks can be deceiving. Always make sure you do your homework so that you know just who it is that you are following.

When I took a second look after being alerted by a message in my notifications from +Christine DeGraff, I noticed that the website linked to this account was neither the Moz Website or Rand's Personal Blog, either of which I would have expected. I followed the link and this is what I found: Work at Home Addict:
Eek! Totally not anything Rand or Moz-like.

Running to a trusted source can become a crutch, therefore, it's best to learn a few key ways to spot an impersonator for yourself. 

As it was quite late and I knew that Ammon would snugly be tucked away in bed, I decided to continue my investigation on my own. I could clearly see that I had reason to believe this Rand was not THE Rand. And though I knew that Ammon would be able to tell me for sure - I just couldn't wait for him to wake before I looked further into this. I was hot on the trail! 
When in doubt, go with your instinct and ask for confirmation from trusted sources.

After we fleshed out the details of the deceit, it was clear that my fortunate friending was but an illusory happenstance. At any rate, I was pleased to have one of my goals back. Goals reached with little effort, or at least novice efforts I might rightly say, have little merit and offer even less to grow from. 

It felt good that we had figured this one out as comrades in arms. Yet still, something nagged at me; I felt compelled to keep searching out the deception.
Onward did I ho! I came across this disreputable post shortly thereafter... 

This sexist post would never be shared by the real Rand Fishkin. 

I pressed on still to check the other shared link - Rand_Fishkin's Pinterest site. I compared it to Moz on Pinterest

The comparison is actually quite pathetic, really.

The more evidence I found against this imposter, the more infuriated I grew. I no longer felt the nice pat on the back that I had given myself earlier for discovering the false Rand. This went beyond a typical fake social media profile to game more followers. This guy led thousands to follow him while destroying Rand's character in tsū - - and he continues to get paid for it! 

Now I must ask:

Tsū's FAQ states impersonation is prohibited, under penalty of banning and deleting user content. 

Well, are you going to do something about this already? Will you enforce your policies? I let it sit for days thinking that I'd return and the profile would be booted. It wasn't  - instead, it's just grown more connected. I would have thought that with Christine pinging in some of the major players that they would have wanted to take care of such a gross attempt to take advantage of tsū's system and its users. I saw no response as of the time of this writing.

This could be considered a rant by some, and that's fine. It's not my attempt to rant for ranting's sake. Instead, I'm calling for action before we must find out just how many people who have earnestly worked with due diligence need to be strewn threw the mud before gets their policing in order. And just for fun - so I can give a little somethin' for daddy - I might as well ask how many Barack Obamas and Captain Jack Sparrows does it really take to build a tsūnami?  

Getting to the heart of why I'm sharing and my call-to-action... 

Perhaps what angers me most about all of this is that the real Rand Fishkin may not even know that this guy is out there using his name, his posts, his picture, and reputation to swindle people out of money because Rand is super busy all the time. The real Rand Fishkin is a family man with a special reverence for the women in his life - and there is NO possible way that he would share some of the smut I saw on his profile. The scary thing is that the smut is intermingled with Moz content that the Work at Home Addict stole which makes it difficult to identify this guy as the thief that he is at first glance. "Stealing? Thief? Isn't that a bit harsh?" you might ask. NO! When you share someone's content under the pretense that it is yours, that is stealing.

~Final question: Does this still sound like a beautiful new, and fair way to use social media, 

Please get it together. If for nothing else, for the sake of your vision. It's one thing to go down because a system didn't work - it's another beast entirely to be forced to say you failed because the people walked away and you could have taken action.

A brief look at the real +Rand Fishkin:  

Learn more About Rand.


Update (Nov. 17, 2014): Rand_Fishkin of tsū (the fakey one) has updated his tsū profile to show as his web address.

Giving even more of an opportunity to slam him against the wall!

Stay tuned for more on how you can help change the face of tsū, and quite possibly the face of the Internet. If we don't stand together now and stand firm then it's all going to run us over eventually. The most important thing we can protect is identity. 

We are each other's keepers.