Feb 082011
 
 February 8, 2011  Online

Joe Fay reports that so far, Facebook remains unyielding that users must use their real names, but that they are looking at ways that dissidents can use the platform without risking repercussions.

Having a policy is fine.

Sticking to the policy if it puts lives at risk is not fine.

Until Facebook figures out a safe way for dissidents to post, they’d be safer avoiding Facebook altogether and sticking to Twitter or some other method for communicating.

Google and Twitter stepped up to the plate to help dissidents. Facebook could have – and in my opinion – should have, too. The ill-formed – and yes, I’ll say it – stupid – beliefs of a young jerk in his 20’s that everything should be public do not stand up to the real world dangers that people face if their identities become known.

If the dissidents have no voice on Facebook now, hundreds of millions of its other users do. Privacy advocates on Facebook and free speech advocates on Facebook: come together and start something big.  Hell, boycott Facebook until all users have a way to post safely. You can do it. I’d join you in but I don’t have a Facebook account because I have never respected their policies.

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