The Hamburg data protection authority has said German Facebook users are under no obligation to follow Facebook’s “real-name” policy, nor could Facebook change their chosen name or ask for ID. The decision came after Facebook blocked a user for using a “fake name” then changing it to their real name. Facebook has said they are not happy with the courts decision but the court maintains the ruling meets European law.
The company argues that the policy keeps users safe; that people can’t hide behind fake identities to hurl abuse at others. But when people are reported for potentially violating the rules, Facebook can require proof of identity – which some find difficult to provide, leading to accounts being suspended or deleted.
German citizens aren’t the only ones not happy with Facebook’s real name policy, domestic violence victims, Native Americans and drag queens recently protested the policy outside Facebook headquarters. It’s a sensitive line to walk as there are many good reasons to not want to use your real name. Facebook has a good point in wanting real name usage and since it is their product that’s why the policy remains in the US. But European laws are different and Germany won this round.
What do you think of Facebook’s real name policy? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.Source: BBC
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