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Criminalizing Impersonation via Social Media Platforms

Barjes Khalil Ahmad Al-Shawabkeh1


Through the use of social media platforms, this study seeks to shed light on the legal definition of impersonation, its history, the rationale behind its criminalization, the strategy employed by the criminal justice system to address it, and how unique this offense is in comparison to other similar ones. To ascertain the extent and boundaries of criminalization under the new Jordanian Cybercrime Act, the researcher used a descriptive and analytical technique to present the criminal law text of impersonation and analyze its content. This research discovered that Jordanian Cybercrime Act No. 17 of 2023 was exceptional in that it rendered impersonation on social media platforms illegal. However, because the primary characteristic of this offense’s structure is its technological nature, it has proven challenging to define the boundaries and content of the offense, as well as the fact that impersonation in its new form is distinct from fraud, invasion of privacy, overstepping privacy, and illegal access. The study concludes by recommending that the minimum and maximum limits of the monetary penalty be lowered. It also highlights the necessity for the Jordanian legislature to outlaw impersonation under the Penal Code because it can be committed in real life by common means.

Keywords: Electronic Defamation (e-defamation), Cyber Forgery, Fictitious Accounts/Fake Accounts., Electronic Fraud (e-fraud), Cybercrimes.