Facebook was meant to be this safe virtual space where “pretending to be anything or anyone isn’t allowed”. There is a flaw in the statement, as everyone is as free as one could be to choose any persona they want. Facebook’s authentic name policy had made users all around the world use their real name, although the name doesn’t necessarily need to have a face that is real as well or a persona who is as real as it is one’s personality in real life. The virtual space usually allows impersonators and the more so social networks should. The internet is the most liberated territory and no rules regarding one’s real name or personality should shade the freedom prerogative.
Facebook’s authentic name policy bred harassment, as it blocked a German user’s account for using an alias. Facebook officials had asked the woman to provide a copy of her identity card and swapped her real name without a consent. This sounds like secret security services rather than your usual laidback social network, where you are free to be anyone you’d like to.
As a reaction to Facebook’s abusive measures, the Hamburg Data Protection Authority responded and stepped in to protect her privacy rights. The German agency has ordered Facebook to allow users pick pseudonyms. The company shouldn’t take the liberty to change usernames and what’s more, it shouldn’t ask users for their IDs.
Image Source: itshughal.com