A couple of months ago, Facebook caused quite a stir when it wanted drag queens to use their real names on the service. Of course, this isn't a rule that affects only drag queens, but that was this community that became the loudest opposition. Last week, we established that the entire thing was a big misunderstanding, and that Facebook is actually fine with people using the name they're best known for.
Well, if you had any lingering doubt about Facebook's sudden change-of-heart, a new report might help settle your opinion. The company is apparently working on a brand-new mobile app that will allow its users to interact with others while using an alias. Oh boy.
(Flickr Credit: Âtin)
The goal here is to let people use multiple identities to freely discuss topics on the service, and you can probably already envision what this can lead to. I'm an avid Reddit user, and it's no secret to me that if people can be anonymous, trolling and extreme hate will trickle through. It does make me wonder, then, just what Facebook's trying to accomplish here, and whether or not it's going to have certain restrictions in place.
The New York Times does mention one potential great use for this app, though: Health. It could also be used for potentially embarrassing topics in general; comments that you would never want to show up in your main feed (not everyone on your friends' list needs to know that you're looking for the best remedy for hemorrhoids, after all).
We'll see where this goes. This could prove to be a major misstep for Facebook, but as history proves, a failure is unlikely to affect much.