Should Facebook Allow Aliases?

Early this morning, Jon Swift, a political blogger, sent me an email notifying me that his Facebook account had been removed. Only a couple of days ago, I blogged about how dangerous my reliance on Facebook is given that I now have hundreds of contacts that I don’t have backed up information for. Jon has now posted a lengthy diatribe about how unfair Facebook’s decision is to remove his account.

Technically, Facebook has a legitimate argument that this is a “fake account” given that Jon Swift the blogger, uses an alias to blog. If Jon ever speaks at a conference I wonder if he also speaks under his pseudonym. Should Jon be allowed to have a fake account? I don’t think so since Facebook does honestly want to have only legitimate accounts on their site. That’s one of the primary reasons for their spectacular growth over the past few years.

Some people do wish to protect their privacy though and that is a valid position. Ultimately, if you want to completely protect your privacy, don’t sign up for Facebook. If you want to create an alias, be discrete about it. I know a number of people that have false accounts on Facebook (none of whom I will name), but they have never had an issue with their alias accounts being shut down. That’s because they aren’t public about the fact that they were using an alias on Facebook. So if Jon wants to have an alias account, I suggest he use an alternative name that isn’t a publicly known for being false.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh though. Do you think Facebook should allow users to register aliases?