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Facebook Can Keep Real Name Policy, German Court Rules 85

An anonymous reader writes "Facebook can stick with its real name policy in Germany, and doesn't have to allow nicknames on its platform for now. The regulator that ordered Facebook to change its policy based its orders on inapplicable German law, a German court ruled."
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Facebook Can Keep Real Name Policy, German Court Rules

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  • Define "real name" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @11:26PM (#42919199) Homepage

    Who here knows what my "human legal name" is? Everyone online knows me by either my Norwegian nickname (Skaperen) or my Swedish nickname (Skapare). There's no point in getting on Facebook at all unless I use these names. Well, OK, I do have a couple other nicknames.

    I don't think a law should force them to accept nicknames. This should happen when Mark quits being stupid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15, 2013 @11:42PM (#42919281)

    I am autistic. I have a job, and some people at my workplace very quickly identified that I was autistic. But some apparently haven't.

    Online, I can anonymously post about issues in my life, things that I've done that I now understand would cause problems or confusion for other people, et cetera. With sites having "real name" policies, that is immediately lost. If I had to use my real name, there are so many things I could not disclose, because of the certainty of discrimination. If people knew some of the things which I've done they might think that I was a risk to myself, and with the last mass shooter supposedly being autistic, if people knew that I was autistic they might think that I was a risk to others. I am not; I am actually about the least violent person I've ever met.

    I don't use Facebook, but there is no way that real name policies are helpful. They are very harmful. I am not the only person who has such reasons to want to maintain anonymity. And even though I know that certain information can immediately be looked up(things like IP addresses or relative locations), the internet does grant some anonymity. It's not that I am a criminal; I haven't done anything wrong. It's that I am someone who has been victimized, and I don't want to be further victimized. Insisting that if I wish to maintain anonymity I should avoid social sites is similar to the way I was ostracized when I attempted socialization when I was younger.

  • by doctor woot ( 2779597 ) on Friday February 15, 2013 @11:50PM (#42919317)

    How easy it is to enforce the policy is irrelevant. The question is whether the policy should be allowed to exist at all, from a legal standpoint.

    Personally I don't see why it shouldn't, if you're going to make use of a service, the person offering it should be allowed to know who it is they're offering the service to. So long as it's made clear what's being done with the information at hand there doesn't seem to be any legitimate reason to disallow it.

  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Saturday February 16, 2013 @12:03AM (#42919383) Journal
    Don't confuse lack of authentication with privacy, they ain't the same thing.

    The vast majority of people don't give a flying fuck about whether or not someone can "theoretically" ID them. I harbor no delusions that, with Slashdot's and my ISP's cooperation, a suitably-empowered government agency could easily ID me. I've certainly said enough about myself on here to confirm even a "close enough" guess.

    Most people just care that when their future employer googles their name, their postings on don't go to the top of the list.

    You want real online privacy? Don't use Facebook.

    All of the above aside - This!

MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.