You can cross check this type of potential fake with the dating profile headline too. Take time to really look at each photo a potential date has posted on their dating profile. This type of fake is a classic. Every single photo is a really sexy woman from her neck down. She may be lying in bed, or standing for a mirror selfie. She might be walking away so you can only see her flowing locks. Even without seeing her face, the selection of photos make her seem like a goddess- but guess what? There are a number of ways you can tell if a woman has used Photoshop to trick guys on dating sites to talk to them.
First, look at their curves. Are the objects behind the woman stretched? If so, chances are she has digitally enhanced the size of something. Second, zoom in on her face. Often, women who do this are still attractive in person, but do you really want to pursue someone who is trying to deceit you before she even meets you? One filter puts a lens over a photo, and any more than that actually disfigure and disguise what the actual person looks like.
Finally, I believe that EmpressCallipygos is right on the money here, speaking as someone who did a LOT of online dating. I like the idea of using something eyecatching as the main photo, something that will get folks to look. Once they are there, you need your first sentence to be some sort of brief disclaimer that yes, you don't look like Xena, Warrior Princess, but that circumstances dictate that you keep your privacy on the site and that all requests for a photo will be honored, or some such.
I wish your friend the best of luck, but even more importantly, I wish them safety and security during this little experiment. No, no fake photos: On the other hand, wanting to avoid stalking situations is a valid desire; I've got to agree with the folks suggesting an avatar or cartoon drawing of you. Even a homemade sketch done by a friend would be worlds better than the flat-out lie of a fake photo. It would be unkind to do this. I worry, though, that your friend might be veering into more dangerous territory by responding to the stalker.
Any "I have noted your attention, and have adjusted my behaviour" indication is unfortunately a response to the stalker, and all responses are encouraging for them. Legal remedies, where available, and therapy are better ways to roll than to spend years in hiding. Speaking from horrid personal experience. The fake-move caper is a big response as far as this sort of thing goes. One way to deal with on-line stalking is to have a very open public internet persona and be extremely easy to find and contact, and then to filter all messages -- this isn't good advice for anybody in physical danger, but if the stalking peters out at on-line harassment, it's worth considering.
If your friend is in physical danger, I think I side with "on-line dating isn't worth it at this time. No, this would be unethical.
It would also be against your interest, because it would make good men lose interest in you when they inevitably realize you used a photo of someone else. Also, I don't know what city your friend is in, but she may want to consider an option like Coffee Meets Bagel. Profiles aren't searchable; rather, every day, each person on the site is sent another person's profile as a possible match. So, if her stalker joined Coffee Meets Bagel, there is a slight chance he would be sent her profile one day, but he'd have to explicitly join the service for that to happen.
Your friend should think about how likely this is. Tinder and Hinge are other suggestions along these lines. I'm sure there are other dating services like this as well without searchable profiles. This sounds like a perfect scenario for the court to help her out so that if he does find her and try to contact her he can be charged with violation. Anyway, can she use the online dating without a photo but contact men she is interested in and send them a photo by email if she doesn't see them as threatening?
I don't think it's unusual for women to do this, but it does eliminate men initiating contact with her. She should not include a photo of someone else. She can just send a picture in her first message. Also, this might be useful to her: OKCupid has a new "stealth" mode for paid users.
I literally just saw the note about that yesterday on their site, so it's probabaly very new. Someone that isn't me, Also consider the ethics of using someone else's photo - even if they never found out, it's still not ok. I have a friend who is a school principal that handles this by providing photos that show her silhouette, but not face.
She's found it best to provide at least a body shot that shows that she is thin and in shape, that gets her past the idea that she's hiding something. In her self description she notes that her job is high profile and she will gladly send pictures privately after messages have been exchanged.
It works as well as online dating works for middle-aged people. I used a non-face photo on OKC even though their rules technically prohibit this, and in my profile offered to send pictures later and a brief explanation of why I didn't have my full photo. I had no problem meeting people. Sometimes I emailed them first since I'm female, that's relatively uncommon, I think and I shared a link to a full photo when I wrote. I would not recommend using a photo of someone else.
Perhaps a really great action shot of herself. If I were online dating I might put up a picture I have of me indoor skydiving - in a jump suit, helmet, goggles, cheeks flapping in the wind.
You really can't tell its me, but it gets across my body type and that I'm fun and active. Or that pic of me on horseback taken from the back as I look out across the desert. She can get a similar picture - blurry roller coaster pic, pic of her kayaking from a distance , horseback riding from a distance with a riding helmet on, perhaps a side view or from the back.
An underwater pic or a pic taken at the beach from the back or side as she looks out at the ocean. A distant picture of her standing at the top of a mountain. I met my girlfriend on OKC, and her profile picture was pretty unhelpful it was blown-up from a smaller thumbnail image, maybe from an online work bio, and therefore basically just a vaguely humanoid group of pixels.
She did this because 1 she hardly had any recent photos, and 2 because she was really uncomfortable about putting her actual image out there in public. No stalkers, mind you, just nervous about having potentially thousands of people viewing her face.
I was about to suggest the same thing as flibbertigibbet - maybe use one of those online avatar-generating things to create a rough likeness. That just isn't going to fly with Now, this is not my first time chatting online to a stock image. We were able to lead him to believe that I had moved to the midwest and so for some time he actually set his sights there. Although there's always the possibility that the stalker is using false pics - how could you know for sure that the person on the other end isn't him? I've never been stalked, but I imagine it must be a frightening -- and complex -- burden to deal with. So, if her stalker joined Coffee Meets Bagel, there is a slight chance he would be sent her profile one day, but he'd have to explicitly join the service for that to happen.
She messaged me first, which helped. But even then, I was super-weirded by the lack of a "face" to go with the conversation. The quality of that conversation was the clincher, though, and allowed me to look past the lack of transparency in terms of image.
What I'm saying is, if friend-of-friend wants to go the not-accurate picture route, they'd better be bringing some serious messaging game. I've never been stalked, but I imagine it must be a frightening -- and complex -- burden to deal with. That said, I don't see any value in an individual allowing that stalker to dictate the rest of their life.
If friend-twice-removed wants to do online dating with a good success-to-frustration level, they should approach the process as honestly as they possible can. If physical danger truly limits them, then a representative image with promise of actual pics, and soon will do in a pinch. But nthing a thousand times: Do not use a third party's face as your own, like ever.
An alternative view with the caveat that I've been married since long before online dating got big and maybe don't understand the prevailing norms. People lie on their profiles all the time, don't they? Don't people say they're 31 when they're 35? Don't they say they're 5'10" when they're 5'8"?
Having a picture of someone else as long as the person is, in some sense, a rough "match" for you seems no greater of a lie than those things, which people grumble about, but mostly don't seem to see as disqualifying levels of dishonesty.
As a man, it wouldn't bother me at all providing the picture is similar, as you suggest. You have a good explanation should a date ever ask about the picture. The only bit that bothers me is that you'd need consent of the actual person in the picture. Have you ever been told you look "just like" someone, and you're like, "Huh?
Have you ever thought you looked just like some celebrity but when you tell your friends they're like, "Yeah, right, in your dreams? Ethics aside, I think she could only pull this off if she had an identical twin sister. And even then, I know identical twins and I can tell from a still photo using the same styling which is which. While it's true that a lot of us don't look in life as we do in photos, men will be scrutinizing the image if it's a clear face pic and I think it would be far, far more obvious when they meet IRL than she's thinking.
And again, ethics aside, it's off-putting to introduce dishonesty and long explanations so early on, so she may not see much success in dating, which I assume is what she's hoping for. Agree with the suggestions to use never-before-seen photos her stalker can't match up to anything he may have seen, and to use photos that aren't clear face pics, but arty or action shots.
Then provide more photos privately if she trusts someone. Just how tenacious is this creep?
If he's trawling dating sites looking for single women her age and in her area with her identifying interests or qualities, he may well end up finding her regardless.