There’s long been an issue with real-name policies on the internet and those of us involved in human rights work over the years are painfully aware of why it’s so important to allow anonymity. The Red Elm fully supports the use of pseudonyms and hopes that G+, Facebook, and others will see the light soon.
Below is the My Name is Me “About” page. Please give the site a visit.
“My Name Is Me” is about having the freedom to be yourself online. We want people to be able to identify themselves as they wish, rather than being forced to choose names by social networking websites and other online service providers.
Websites such as Facebook and Google+ ask you to use a name that conforms to a certain standard. Though their policies vary, what they would like you to use is the name that appears on the ID in your wallet, your employer’s records, or on the letters your bank sends you. They don’t understand that many people go by other names, for a wide variety of reasons.
Some of the types of people who want to choose their own names online include:
- People at risk, including domestic abuse survivors, LGBT teens, and political dissidents.
- Celebrities who use stage names, authors who publish under pen names, or members of many other professions with similar practices.
- People around the world who have different naming practices: a single name in Indonesia, a name that mixes Chinese and Roman characters in Hong Kong, or people from many countries whose names may seem strange or “fake” to English-speakers.
- People with long-established nicknames or online identities, whose friends know them better by that than anything else.
- School teachers, health professionals, law enforcement officers, and others who don’t want their jobs to follow them into their private lives.
Choosing your own name online doesn’t mean you’re a fraud or a spammer. It just means you want people to take you at your word: you are who you say you are.
Using a name of your own choice gives you the freedom to express yourself freely; take better control of your privacy; and be judged by your actions rather than your gender, race, or religion.