Stop Facebook banning pseudonyms
Stop Facebook banning pseudonyms
Facebook, the world's most popular social media platform with over 2.4 billion members, has a problem. The problem concerns social security and is negatively affecting some of the most vulnerable people in the world. This is because, unlike any other platform whatsoever, Facebook not only still insists its users register under their 'authentic' name, but won't allow the use of a screen name, something which other platforms, such as YouTube or even Instagram, who was the same origin greatly recommends.
Doing this will affect anyone who is trying to conceal themselves in a crowd. For example, trying to escape an abusive relationship or get away from someone who has caused damage in the past like a racist or homophobic who has followed them and continues to verbally abuse them.
A campaign for this cause was already set up in 2014 to allow Drag Queens to use their considered stage name and reached to trans-gender people, all of which were at the time susceptible to having their account deleted as they were not using the name on their birth certificate. They won their campaign to an extent and Facebook change its rules to allow someone to be known by a username by which they are proven to be called in 'real-life'.
However, this is still an issue for cyber security, not to mention an opportunity for bullying with those wanting to cause damage to another individuals social networking persona having the easy outlet of reporting them, correctly or falsely, to the social media giant for using a false name. Consider for a moment the sort of person who might want to use a pseudonym - a mother trying to escape the far reaches of her abusive ex-husband or a troubled teen trying to evade those who've incessantly bullied them through school or even cyber space. Do these people not deserve to have a place in social media if they want one? To carry on trying to live under the radar of those trying to hurt them?
Facebook's main argument for their policy is social security, the point that it prevents its users from becoming faceless cyberbullies actually presents a problem in itself. The victim of bullying, who has been forced to use their real name on the media platform, is at risk of their troll finding them through an electoral roll, the yellow pages or through other people and arrival to scare them in what should be the safety of the own home or even their place of work. The only thing worse than a cyber bully is a cyber bully who knows where you live!
But, I do see the problem Facebook is pointing out - that they believe they need the real name of their users. This is why I'm not campaigning to stop Facebook asking for a real, authentic name. Instead, I'm suggesting they allow the use of screen names on a profile. In this way, someone can display their own name, or a pseudonym for security reasons, and I a complaint is reported to Facebook, they are able to identify with likely a higher reliability than they have now, as so many clearly break the rule and, unbeknownst to Facebook, use a fake name anyway (in 2014, 83 million accounts were estimated to be fake).
If you agree that for a safer platform for the vulnerable people with an account should include the use of a screen name within Facebook's rules, please sign the petition.