Facebook has always had a real names policy, where you agree that your profile name is “ the name [you] go by in everyday life .” Obviously, you can type in a fake name, and you may get away with it for a while. But it isn’t allowed, and it can cause you trouble.

    Facebook’s Real Name Policy

    The entire foundation of Facebook is that it’s a site where real people interact with each other without hiding behind anonymous usernames and blank avatars. It’s why, despite Facebook’s many problems, they’ve never had the same level of abuse and trolling that Twitter and Reddit get. People still fight and argue about anything and everything, but at least they know that it’s their racist uncle they’re fighting with, and not SpottyTeenager64.

    RELATED: How to Mute (Most) Spam Accounts and Trolls on Twitter

    Facebook’s real name policy is a big part of the reason they have a successful and profitable advertising business, while Twitter and Reddit struggle. Advertisers want to be able to target real people based on actual data about them; serving ads to anonymous users just isn’t any where near as efficient.

    Facebook is pretty clear on what counts as a real name. It should be “the name that your friends call you in everyday life” and it should “also appear on [an official] ID.” Facebook even has a list of acceptable ID types , which includes things like passports and driving licences. Basically, if it’s not the name the government knows you by, it’s probably not going to fly with Facebook.

    There are also a couple of other rules your name must abide by. It can’t include:

    • Symbols, numbers, weird capitalization, and the like.
    • A mix of characters from different languages.
    • A title like Doctor or Father.
    • Words that aren’t your name; for example, I couldn’t have “Majestic Harry Guinness” as mine, no matter how much I wanted it.
    • Offensive or suggestive words.
    This definitely wouldn’t make it past Facebook’s name review team.

    You are allowed nicknames, if they’re “a variation of your authentic name.” The name on my birth certificate isn’t Harry, but Harry is a common affectionate form of it.

    By now it should be pretty clear that Facebook really doesn’t like people using fake names, to the point that, if they suspect you are using one they’ll lock you out of your account and require you to send them a photo of your official ID to confirm that “Justin Pot” or “Cameron Summerson” or whatever other makey-upy name you’ve come up with is what your parents named you.

    However, Facebook has over two billion active monthly users . That is a hell of a lot of people to police. Presumably, since Facebook loves algorithms , they use some automated tools to flag accounts that they think are using fake names. For example, if you change your name to something drastically different or add common dictionary words, it’s probably going to be reviewed by a human. But if you just change your surname , or perhaps go by your middle name instead, there is a good chance you’ll be able to get away with it. Certainly, I know plenty of people who’ve used believable fake names for years without any issue.

    RELATED: How Facebook’s News Feed Sorting Algorithm Works

    On the other hand, we really can’t recommend you use a fake name. Not only does it violate Facebook’s Terms of Service, but it also makes the social network more annoying for everyone, including you. While anyone who knows me is likely to accept a friend request from “Harry Guinness,” there’s a good chance they’ll ignore “Garry Budweiser.” Similarly, when someone goes looking for your profile to send you a message, tag you in something, or just send you a friend request, they won’t be able to find you.

    RELATED: How to Set Up a Facebook Page

    If the reason you want to use a pseudonym is that it’s a stage or professional name, Facebook already has other options available. They recommend you set up a Facebook Page using your real account. You can then invite all your friends to like the page and handle anything related to your other persona through it.

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    How-To Geek is where you turn when you want experts to explain technology. Since we launched in 2006, our articles have been read more than 1 billion times. Want to know more?

    Can I join Facebook with a fake name?
    Facebook users cannot use fake names on their accounts. Always use your real name. You can change your name after your account is created only if you legally change your name, such as when you get married. more
    How many Facebook accounts are fake?
    In the first quarter of 2022, Facebook took action on 1.6 billion fake accounts, down from 1.7 billion in the previous quarter. Characteristic Number of removed fake accounts in millions - - more
    What are fake Facebook accounts called?
    bots The vast majority of those accounts were so-called bots, or automated accounts that are often created en masse by software programs. Bots have been used for years to artificially amplify certain posts or topics so they are seen by more people. more
    How do Facebook detect fake accounts?
    The system starts by using a large number of low-precision machine-generated labels. These are generated through a mix of rules and other machine-learning models that estimate whether users are real or fake. more
    Can a fake Facebook account be traced?
    Our social media investigators hear this question a lot: Is it possible to trace online accounts? Unfortunately, the only real answer is: it depends. While we have successfully been able to trace many fake accounts, it is almost always an uphill battle. But, if it can be done, we can do it. more
    Are there fake accounts on Facebook Dating?
    Facebook has long fought with the fake profiles — touting photos of beautiful women and hunky men — that scammers use to spark relationships with users, snatch money and disappear. Some worry the dating service could only make that “catfishing” problem worse. more
    Can you buy fake Facebook profiles?
    Don't assume everyone you talk to on Facebook is real: there's an entire marketplace of fake accounts for sale. Charlie Warzel, writing for Buzzfeed, looked into this by actually buying a fake account. more
    What are fake Facebook accounts used for?
    It's well known that scammers use fake Facebook accounts to connect with users and their friends to scrape personal information in an effort to steal identities. Fake account owners also reach out to anyone who's accepted their friend request to try and scam them out of money. more
    What percentage of Facebook profiles are fake?
    Online dating is a great way to meet new people, but the ease of making a profile and swiping right also comes with a few dangers. In fact, it's estimated that about 10% of online dating profiles are actually bots or romance scammers. more
    Does Facebook dating have fake profiles?
    Facebook has long fought with the fake profiles — touting photos of beautiful women and hunky men — that scammers use to spark relationships with users, snatch money and disappear. Some worry the dating service could only make that “catfishing” problem worse. more
    Can fake Facebook account be traced?
    Our social media investigators hear this question a lot: Is it possible to trace online accounts? Unfortunately, the only real answer is: it depends. While we have successfully been able to trace many fake accounts, it is almost always an uphill battle. But, if it can be done, we can do it. more

    Source: www.howtogeek.com

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