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Facejacked 2: Electric Boogaloo

My headshot got stolen and used for a Facebook ad. I complained and got a response — but it wasn't the one I was expecting.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey
2 min read

Safely anonymous once more. Sort of.
(Screenshot by Nic Healey/CNET Australia)

My headshot got stolen and used for a Facebook ad. I complained and got a response — but it wasn't the one I was expecting.

Yesterday, I shared with you the tale of my Facejacking — the theft of my not-so-valuable visage to spruik a dubious third-party Facebook app. We laughed, we cried, we developed as individuals and, at the end of day, I feel like we got to know each other better. Or something like that.

As yesterday's overly-long tale drew to a close, I had contacted both Facebook and the app developer — and the fate of my face hung in the balance. Would someone respond? Or was I destined to remain six years older, living in a sub-par city and named after one of the most boring saints in the entire field of Catholic hagiology? Seriously, he's the patron saint of headaches, people!

(As a side note: I realised yesterday that if the caption had said something like "Tex, 32, Awesomeville", I probably would have let the whole thing slide. Just a pointer for any other Facejackers out there.)

So the bets were on. Would the enormous, unfeeling global corporation swoop in and save the day, or would it be the skeevy app developer who had stolen my cranial frontage to begin with?

Skeevy app dev: 1. Facebook: nil.

Yesterday evening, I got a short, cheery email response from the contact I had emailed at the Israeli company responsible for the Play Forex app. It read, in its entirety:

NP, Nik. We'll take it down. Thanks!

Apparently, ask and ye shall receive. And yes, they did spell my name wrong. But as I noted yesterday, it was no small matter to track down a contact name to begin with. Many people would have found themselves at the mercy of Facebook's own reporting process, and I'm not exactly holding my breath for a follow up.

So what did I learn from all this excitement? I'm honestly not sure. It might be something like: "even when you don't have a Facebook account, they can still provide an environment for your public humiliation". Or maybe it's more of a "sometimes random things happen and they're weird, but you just need to cope" kind of lesson.

Either way, it's a little odd to think that I owe the return of my likeness to a skeevy dev who turned out to be pretty decent after all. (At least, he did when challenged — it still counts.)