On Saturday, a co-worker’s cousin (who I have met a couple of times) was reading the Jerusalem Post website and noticed my photo with the caption “ask me out” on the homepage sidebar:
Recognising this as the photo I use for work and thinking that I was married, she clicked on the ad.
It took her through to a Jewish dating site member profile:
This profile was using four of my photos – (my work photo from here and here), me and my husband at the NetGuide New Zealand awards, a photo I use as my display picture on a number of sites and one of me on holiday in 1999. One mystery to me is where the NetGuide Awards photo and holiday photo are even stored online at all!
I contacted the site (which is based in Canada) on Saturday requesting the images be removed but heard back nothing.
Not only did “Maya” use my photos without my permission (it may even have been a made up profile by the site itself), they were also using me to advertise their site on at least one popular website – The Jerusalem Post.
Tuesday morning I spoke with a Canadian lawyer specialising in internet issues who advised me to email both the dating site and the Jerusalem Post requesting again that they be removed within 48 hours and to inform me of their removal or to start legal proceedings and to make this embarrassing situation very public – which I did so.
Yesterday I received this rather odd email back from the dating site:
— do not edit —
Thanks for your email. As per your request, your photos have been removed. However, profiles with pictures do generate more activity.
The Jmatch team.
Copy and paste job anyone?
Finally, this morning before the 10:30am NZT deadline the Jerusalem Post removed my photo! Disappointingly, I never heard anything back from them.
I write this in the hope that this sort of thing won’t happen again to any of you and as a word of caution that photographs on dating websites may not be what they seem!
And if anyone can find where the photo of me and my husband is online, or the one of me on holiday in Australia in 1999 is, that would be fantastic. The person finding the photos must be pretty clever and not just using a simple Google search. It’s bugging me that I can’t even find them!
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