Facebook really wants you to use your real name. The company’s name policy is clear and unequivocal: you should be using the name on your Governement ID. Maybe, if your name is Robert, you can go by Bobby on the social network, but that’s about it. While this is a longstanding policy, Facebook hasn’t been able to enforce it as thoroughly as they’ve wanted. It seems like they’ve found a way to determine who’s using a fake name: they’re going to ask your friends.
This weird decision for Facebook was spotted by Twitter user @chapeaudefee, and it shows you a friend and asks you, “Is this your friend’s real name?” You get four options, and only four options (there’s no option to close the popup): “Yes,” “no,” “I don’t know,” and “I don’t want to answer.” It’s a intimidating tactic, and it doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy about Facebook. What Facebook doesn’t realize is sometimes a pseudonym on the internet is not only safer, but the smart decision. But that doesn’t fit in with Facebook’s business model, which is to become the identity for the internet. It can’t do that if s0me people aren’t who they say they are.
Most Facebook feature rollouts happen incrementally, so you might not see these popups if you log on today. But if you do, and you tell Menlo Park my real name isn’t “Princess,” remember: snitches get stitches.