Thoughts on False Names for the Internet?

Is it immoral to use a different name for the purposes of Internet activities?

I don’t have a Facebook, MSN or Google Account, but I’d like to use one or two of their features. But for personal reasons and privacy, I just don’t want my real name out there.

For example-- once in a great while I’d like to comment on a news story or article or blog post. But most of those require you to have an account.

If I made up a first and last name for this reason and registered that way, would that be immoral?

Thoughts?

I think if you’re not impersonating another person to smear their good name, and you’re not using it to troll or sockpuppet, it’s okay.

My own Facebook is my real name, and I only have one account. But I have pseudonyms for all my other online activities (my name isn’t actually Daisy Mae), because there is NO privacy online, and I like the freedom to discuss issues, etc, without being subjected to a hassle IRL.

Exactly.
Just make up a name for forums that reflects your personality.
FB is another matter.
Personally, I regret starting on FB. I mostly just look at other people’s pictures.
I seldom post. And I really hate getting all the like pages requests, and the games requests. FB is not all that useful.

No. It’s quite common that few people use their real names. In fact, CAF administration advises that one does not use their real name on here.

Facebook has a policy that requires users to use their legal names (except for drag queens,) so that would not be a place you’d want to go.

But Facebook is quite unusual in requiring this. If the site has no such policy, like CAF, then by all means make something up and go anonymous. That’s how the Internet works, in general.

It may be policy, but I know several people on FB who use aliases. One of them does so because her ex is a stalker who tried to kill her. Another uses a “last name” that advertises what she does. A teenaged girl of my acquaintance used to change her middle name to reflect the musical group/TV series that she liked at the moment.

Back to OP’s question, I don’t see anything wrong with using an alias, as long is one is not trying to defraud others. There’s certainly not anything in the CCC about it.

I personally believe putting your real name out there on the internet is a bad idea, that can even possibly lead to your death. If someone knows your name, they also know where you live. If they hate you for some odd reason, they can find you. This is why I feel it is a bad idea to use your real name on the internet.

Facebook is used by hackers to get personal information off your page - by using your real name and information and your family information you open your self to hackers - also if you sign a code of conduct at your work place and accidentally post the wrong thing - you loose your job - employers check - I don’t think its a smart Idea to have a facebook account or post personal info on the internet.

Look at some security questions on your bank account
Whats your fathers middle name
mothers nee name
car you drive
favorite sports team and so on - and people give it up for all to see everyday
If I use a false name its only to protect my personal information - not to do bad thing - regardless of policy

I don’t understand; on what basis would it be immoral?

No. You are protecting your privacy, which you are entitled to. For those sites who claim your real name will never be revealed, it is up to you to decide whether or not to believe them. Sadly, personal information has been stolen on the internet from legitimate sites. Other times, a thief will create a site that looks real but is not. My trust level is quite low so I can’t use my real name.

Ed

I don’t think it’s immoral to use a fake name. In the past most sites would tell people not to use personal information for safety reasons. Facebook, Google etc. has started to change this, but they are known for making a lot of money off of marketing so they need to know who you are, what you do, etc. to market more efficiently.

Right. I refuse to use Facebook. Too addictive for my taste - and, besides, many times (especially for us men), mainstream social media that posts pictures or videos (e.g. Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, etc.) has the potential for being a near-occasion of sin (or, at the very least, being a gateway to things that are sinful).

Regardless, I use the same alias on most sites that I go to and have used. It keeps it easy for me - and if someone sees what I wrote on one site, they know that it’s probably the same person.

I used to use the same name for every site I visited regularly. It was a variation of a relatively common name. I then ran into some cyberstalking problems and found that the people doing the stalking, after the initial incidents, were searching for that user name and finding “my” accounts on all sorts of varied and unrelated websites. Via the grapevine, word was getting back to me of these people were accusing me of doing things that people with the same user name on these other sites had talked about doing. I actually found a couple people on other sites who were being harassed by the people who were targeting me. It was pretty insane. That led me to cancel a ton of accounts and when I finally set up new ones I used a unique user name and email address every time.

My thoughts?

Hint: on_the_hill isn’t my real name. :wink:

No, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it unless you are trying to do something criminal. I have signed up to some places with fake names if that’s the only way to get a coupon or play a game, for example. I have also used places like 10 minute mail to get a temporary email address when some places ask for information they really don’t need and when I don’t want continued junk mail from them.

I think what you’re asking is akin to Survivor on TV. It’s like asking “Is it OK to lie on Survivor?” Well, yeah. That’s the nature of Survivor–it’s a game. That’s how you play the game. Everyone understands that (unless they’re idiots–there are a few). You are playing by the “rules” when you lie.

Another way to look at it is your “name,” whatever it is online, is, in fact, your name for that particular site. It’s unique. Otherwise you wouldn’t be assigned it. So it is your name.

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