Facebook: Keeper of the Rules

Jon Swift was kicked out of Facebook. Why? Because Facebook determined he didn't use his real name, which is in violation of their TOS. I'm so torn in my opinion on this. Maybe its because of my curse in seeing all sides of a matter, but more importantly I think its because there are 2 very strong sides in the matter.

On one hand, I can understand the security arguments. It would unnerve me to find out someone I interacted with online wasn't really who they said they were. And I understand that this is why sites have TOS. If you want to play, you have to follow the rules. I also see how not using your real name can directly fight the notion of transparency in social media and networking. I mean, if you aren't transparent with something as basic as your name, how can you be trusted with your intentions in interactions?


Does using your own name really ensure honesty, transparency, and intent? I mean, just because you post your real name to your Facebook account means that everything you say is ok, and it can be assumed that your intention for participation is honest? I think that is naive. I post under my screen name "deziner" all the time. Does that make me less qualified to participate in the conversation?

I think requiring people to open themselves up in a way that is uncomfortable to many by requiring their name is is stifling the conversation. Just because someone doen't use their real name, because they may be worried about supplying personal information, does not make their contributions any less credible, or useful, or inspiring, or any other positive adjective we attach to the open dialog. In fact, in this new world, I think the merits of the contributions are what should be monitored and evaluated, not the name behind it. If I am offensive to the community, if I am caught deliberately lying and manipulating for the sake of my own benefit, or I am using my contributions to cause harm to others, then action is sanctioned. But if I am just me, and just happen to be known online as "deziner" and not "Cindi" I shouldn't be removed from the conversation.Personal opinion

I know. If "Jon Swift" didn't like the rules, he should have gone somewhere else. But I say, if Facebook or others like them don't want to truly forward the conversation and connections, they should have evaluated their rules in place in the first place.