A few months ago, I went into a Facebook hiatus. After a month away, I decided to go back, because it was easier to keep in touch with people that way. Now I’m off again. Only, this time it was Facebook’s decision.
For many years, on many platforms, I’ve used the nom de plume Markus O’Reallyus. My friends know me by this online. My reason for doing this is to maintain a degree of privacy. Advertisers, trolls and other online snoopers, don’t need to know too much about me. Everyone who I feel has the right to know more will know more. On Facebook, pretty well all my friends are – were – people I know and associate with in real life.
But today I received a note from Facebook that ‘someone complained’ about my name. (Just the day before, someone had flagged my repost of a CNN Facebook post as ‘fake news’. I replied that it clearly wasn’t, they agreed and restored my post.) As a result, Facebook now requires I send them identification to prove my name is my name before I can access my account again. That isn’t going to happen.
I’m not sure who would have complained about my Facebook name. Certainly not someone on my friends list. Probably someone who didn’t like a comment I said somewhere. All my posts are set to ‘friends only’, so it would have to have been a comment on someone else’s post. Interesting that it occurs in the context of a provincial election here.
At any rate, I’m off Facebook again. I’ll be dammed if I’m changing my name or providing them with ID. Transnational companies don’t get to know any more about me than I choose to tell them. I’m the one who calls the shots on my public personae.