No matter how much the policy annoys people, Facebook has never backed down, but following complaints from the LGBT community it has promised to be a little more lenient when accounts are reported for using fake names. If you’re a German Facebook user though, you will now be legally allowed to use a pseudonym on the network.
Also Read: Facebook Will Review Its Real Name Policy
Following a complaint from a German Facebook user who was asked for her ID in order to have her account reinstated, the national regulator responsible for Facebook in Germany – the Hamburg data protection authority – ruled that German citizens can use fake names on Facebook. Furthermore, Facebook is not able to unilaterally change a user’s name, and if their accounts are reported, the company is also not allowed to ask for them to provide documents for identification.
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However, I doubt that Facebook will be taking this decision lying down since it contravenes global policies. Facebook’s European HQ are in Ireland, so perhaps it’s Irish law that should govern all EU Facebook users? Naturally, any such suggestion has been rejected by the German regulator, but I imagine Facebook will be appealing.
A spokesperson for Facebook announced that
[quote]The use of authentic names on Facebook protects people’s privacy and safety by ensuring people know who they’re sharing and connecting with.[/quote]
What do you think? Do you feel that Facebook is being too strict about it’s name policy?