Local News

UNC student working to take back her online identity

Posted April 9, 2014
Updated April 10, 2014

— "My name is Kristin Shotwell, and my identity has been stolen."

It is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill junior’s call for help to the Internet.

Shotwell is searching for the person who is using pictures of her for an online dating profile she did not create.

"They probably obtained them from my Facebook profile because I did not have my profile pictures on private then," she said.

The phony account was listed under the name Kim.

Shotwell decided to search for the culprit by using the same tool that caused the problem - the Internet.

Her story and a call for help were posted on a blog and has been seen tens of thousands of times.

"I know this is a long shot, but if we could find the imposter, I could salvage my virtual identity," she said.

Many have responded. Most have recounted similar happenings.

"All of social media has been very, very receptive of my story," she said.

Shotwell, who is studying mass communication and journalism, has turned her journey into a paper.

"I do want to know who is behind the account," she said. "We have talked about it a lot in class."

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  • ncprr1 Apr 10, 3:09 p.m.

    I think she may have done all of the posting herself to get her name in the spotlight and make ... View More

    — Posted by herringinbox

    This was absolutely my first thought as well. Christmas Jammies self-promo all over again.

    — Posted by isolde36

    At lease she only got some tabloid "news" outlet to buy into it.

  • isolde36 Apr 10, 2:31 p.m.

    I think she may have done all of the posting herself to get her name in the spotlight and make ... View More

    — Posted by herringinbox

    This was absolutely my first thought as well. Christmas Jammies self-promo all over again.

  • dbop90 Apr 10, 1:55 p.m.

    This is the dumbest news story for sure.

  • A person Apr 10, 1:44 p.m.

    Maybe she should be more careful instead of whining about it to us afterwards

  • keeprightexcepttopass Apr 10, 1:14 p.m.

    Why is she dressed like she's headin' to the club rather than sitting down for an interview?

  • euimport1 Apr 10, 11:53 a.m.

    hope she never gets a job as a reporter. she's a shameless self promoter.. no news there

  • rduwxboy Apr 10, 11:48 a.m.

    It seems like there is a lot LESS news on the new WRAL.com than used to be, and a lot of what is put up on the site is tabloid-esque. Much of the site has stories, that are days, even weeks old now.

  • HomeBrewDude Apr 10, 11:44 a.m.

    Good point UMSOP! Totally.. This is easy to fix... Contact the company that hosts the "ads"

  • sweetlyght Apr 10, 11:35 a.m.

    I don't think I really care about my virtual identity. I have had the occassion for such a thing to happen to me when an angry ex made a profile on a dating site for me using pictures he had. Who cares!

  • umop apisdn Apr 10, 11:18 a.m.

    So, she wants her profile picture back? Is there more to this story? So they found a 2-year running flaw in openSSL but this girl profile pic was used in a fake dating ad and it's a bigger story?

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