A recent article on NU.nl discusses the fact that Facebook is forcing users to use their real names (as stated on their Passport) for their personal profiles. The users who are most commonly addressed are Drag Queens, men who dress like women and thus create a female profile with a fake name. If they do not use their real name, Facebook closes down their account and requires them to send documents with which their real name can be verified. According to Facebook, Pages can be used for other names, like artist names, but not personal profiles.
As the Facebook case suggested, privacy is a major issue for many users and everyone wants to avoid that their names, information or pictures are used for other purposes, such as fake profiles or advertising. However, to what extent are Drag Queen profiles fake? One could consider them as simply another version of themselves, perhaps a version they feel more comfortable with when communicating with people on Facebook. Even though the profile is not based on a real name, one cannot consider it a fake profile. There are countless of Facebook users who only choose to share a part of their truth, who hide behind slightly different names or who share wrong information.
In my opinion, Facebook is contradicting itself by forbidding something that social media platforms are actually meant for: Reflecting an image of oneself, in most cases an image that does not reflect reality or is an enhanced version of reality. So, Facebook, why start here and limit the freedom of Drag Queens? There are countless of other privacy issues that could be addressed first.
I am eager to hear what you think about Facebook closing down ‘fake’ profiles!