At a presentation hosted by Marie Claire magazine about cyber-bullying and social media today, Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s creator), she stated that Facebook might be forcing everyone to use their real names on their profiles. Apparently anonymity leads to irresponsible behavior on the internet (i.e. bullying, harassment) and the social network wants to put an end to that.
Here’s what she had to say about the situation: “the use of real names online could help curb bullying and harassment on the web. I think anonymity on the Internet has to go away… People behave a lot better when they have their real names down. … I think people hide behind anonymity and they feel like they can say whatever they want behind closed doors… There’s so much more we can do…We’re actively trying to work with partners like Common Sense Media and our safety advisory committee.”
While that makes sense, not everybody who hides behind a fake name acts irresponsibly – some people just don’t want their details all over the internet, while they want to retain a connection with their friends and family on the online world. Forcing them to use their real names seems unnecessary and a little unfair don’t you think?
Then there are also people who have been using a nickname since they were young and it stuck – with all their friends and family referring to them by their “fake name”. Using a real name in this situation could also cause confusion for folks trying to reconnect in the future. And let’s not forget the whole issue about Mark Zuckerberg (the lawyer) being banned from Facebook because he has the same name as Facebook’s creator. What is your take on this issue? Should Facebook users be forced to use their real names?