Facebook wants you to snitch on your friends. No seriously, snitch on your Facebook friends. Doesn’t makes sense yet? According to TPM – Facebook is randomly surveying users about their friends’ fake usernames.
Facebook has confirmed that for the past several months, it has been surveying users about their Friends’ usernames, asking if the usernames are “your friend’s real name” or not.
“This system has been in a few different incarnations over the past couple months,” a Facebook spokesperon confirmed in a statement. “It changes depending on what’s being asked. “Facebook wants to know if your friends’ names are real. Are you going to be the snitch?” tweeted an activist and photojournalist under the username “@chapeaudefee,” attaching the following screenshot to illustrate the survey prompt, which shows another user’s account name, profile photo and location and asks the recipient of the survey to indicate whether the person’s account is reflective of their real name or not.
The actual question posed by Facebook is phrased decidedly more delicately:
“Please help us understand how people are using Facebook,” it reads. “Your response is anonymous and won’t affect your friend’s account. Is this your friend’s real name?”
It then gives users four options: “Yes,” “No,” “I don’t know this person,” and “I don’t want to answer.”
The Facebook Terms of Service also state: “If you select a username or similar identifier for your account or Page, we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe it is appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user’s actual name).”
Facebook’s Help Center is even more strict, stating that “The name you use should be your real name as it would be listed on your credit card, student ID, etc.”
Despite this, Facebook itself has admitted its enforcement of this policy hasn’t stopped a sizeable portion of fake username accounts proliferating on the social network, up to 8.7 percent, which equates to 83.1 million out of 955 million users worldwide.
Does any of your Facebook friends have “fake” usernames? (Don’t worry we won’t ask who) Do you believe asking users to identify fake usernames will help cut down over 83 million of fakers our there? Sound off below…