Anonymity Does not Exist in Facebook?

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Facebook has banned a Chinese outspoken dissident, Michael Anti, for using a pseudonym. His account was cancelled in January, after he received the company’s email saying that Facebook had a strict policy about banning the use of pseudonyms. Michael Anti was asked to use his real name, the one issued on his government ID, if he wanted to continue using the site.

Facebook’s policy seems to be controversial because there are a still lot of accounts created by people using their alias. And it appears not only people. As Michael Anti discovered after he was banned, there is nothing wrong in having an account for a dog owned by Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Anti started his Facebook account in 2007. He established a network of more than 1,000 professional contacts, which is now blocked for him."This might impact on my journalistic career," Anti says.

It is not the first time that the activist’s account has been blocked. In 2005, his blog on Windows Live Spaces was deleted under the pressure of Chinese authorities.

Though Facebook represents “real name culture”, evidently people use it to create an online image that doesn't always correspond with reality. For some people this is the only way to speak and to be heard, since they write from the places where they are under risk of being prosecuted. So the anonymity provided by using pseudonyms is essential for them. And if Zuckerman’s dog has it, why shouldn't others?


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