The largest social media site on the planet, Facebook is about to make arguably the most drastic change to the way it allows users to interact with each other by introducing a new app that will allow for anonymous profiles.
According to the New York Times two people (both of whom, coincidentally, wished to remain anonymous) who have knowledge of Facebook’s plans revealed that the app, set to go live in the next few weeks, will allow users to interact under names that are not their own – something which Facebook has eschewed for the main platform.
The point of the new app, according to the two individuals, is to allow Facebook’s users to discuss topics online that they would not like associated to their real identities by using multiple pseudonyms to mask their personas from discovery. What isn’t known as of yet is how, or even if, the app will work together with a user’s Facebook account with the obvious questions then about data security and whether said user’s identity will truly be safe from being discovered.
Facebook’s current policy is to only allow people to use verified email addresses along with their real names to create an account, something which has led to problems with the LGBT community in the past and may perhaps be the reason that the company is looking to branch out into new ways to allow its users to interact online.
With anonymity, of course, comes a measure of care that must be taken by Facebook to prevent the kind of trolling that inhabits many corners of the internet where profiles are not linked to the user’s real world identity and therefore offer a safe haven from which to launch personal attacks on other users.[Source – New York Times]