People should be allowed to use false Facebook name


Diana San Juan, Staff Writer

Though Facebook’s idea of the real name policy comes from a good place of safety and authenticity, the company may not have thought it completely through. People should have the right to use whatever name they feel comfortable using on social media.

Facebook has recently made a policy to ensure the safety of its members by insisting that everyone who has an account is using their real name. Real name means the name that is on your license, passport and bank accounts.

Though this seems like a good idea considering how dangerous it sounds to have people under false names able to contact you or see your posts, it has its cons.

Anyone can make a Facebook account. Some people do it to keep in touch with friends from college, some to keep in touch with family members, and some to have a persona online.

Many members from the LGBT community have found this new policy appalling. According to CNN Living, it, “raises questions around identity and the right to self-determination on social media.”

People have the right to identify themselves in whatever way they choose to. However they decide to do it is also their choice.

Being forced to change their name to “Bob Smith” just to comply with this policy doesn’t seem right.

The feelings of the LGBT community are completely understandable. All they would like is to be able to express their identity through social media like everyone else.

Being forced to have to figure out what name they want to go by, whether it correlates with their gender identity or not, makes it impossible to have an authentic identity online. Isn’t this Facebook’s initial goal after all?

Aside from the LGBT community, there may be other reasons why using a false name is a good idea. People who are controversial or feel threatened for whatever reason may not want to expose their real name.

Appearing as Samantha instead of Sarah might keep someone safe, or at least make her feel safe and able to communicate with friends on Facebook without the thought of being endangered.

If Facebook’s concern is the safety of its members, there may be other ways to ensure safety that doesn’t comply with the self-giving identity of users, such as, checking up on their users.

Keeping track of the type of users who go on Facebook on a regular basis and seeing the actions they take on the site may be helpful. Detecting alarming behavior can help avoid dangers of the web.