Facebook has long been opposed to users’ identifying themselves with fake names on the site. However, according to a recent interview with Mark Zuckerberg in Bloomberg Businessweek, the site may be mulling the idea of eventually allowing people – in some cases – to use fake names.
“I don’t know if the balance has swung too far, but I definitely think we’re at the point where we don’t need to keep on only doing real identity things,” Zuckerberg said. “If you’re always under the pressure of real identity, I think that is somewhat of a burden.”
As it currently stands, Facebook sniffs out profiles that it deems obviously fake and disables them, only allowing a user to regain access if they can prove the name provided to Facebook is their actual, given name. One of Facebook’s core principles when it launched in 2014 was authenticity, though in an increasingly fractured online world, the true identity of an individual matters less and less. Both Twitter and Snapchat allow users to post under fake names, for instance.
Though Facebook’s dedication to maintaining an honest user base is admirable, and it has doubtlessly led to improvements in spam prevention, many users don’t wish to be identified by their real names because they simply want to maintain their privacy. They should be allowed to do that, even if it means having their profile registered under a fake name.