Sunday, November 13, 2011

Are you allowed to choose your *name*?

Facebook, Google+, and probably many other sites do not allow accounts to be registered under a name that looks "artificial". That means, you can register an account only on a name of a human. The reason given is, they do not want to have people registering *fake* accounts, and welcome only the *real* persons to be in! 

Names such as the below are not allowed or at least challenged.

1) Kathiravelu பிரதீபன் - You can't mix two language scripts, though this one indeed is my name, where the first name is written in English, and the last name in Tamil script.

2) Prad33ban, Pradeeban_, or Pradeeb@n - Numbers or special characters are not allowed in the names. Only the alphabets of a single script are allowed.

3) Pradz or PradROX - Suspicious name, most probably a fake!

4) Rock Buddy, Superman, Monkey Gurl, or Fen0023 - Doesn't look real.

5) Pearl Kitty or Brownie - Kitties and puppies aren't allowed!

6) K.K, PDN, pra, or pdn - Initials, pen names, or pseudonyms aren't allowed.

7) Dr.Vijay - Salutations aren't allowed.

8) Sucker - Sounds offensive.

9) kaThiRaVeLu PrADeeBaN - Improper capitalization.

10) Fxx or Bot - Bots are not allowed.

11) Double Rainbow, Firefly, or Stone - Natural objects and insects! No!

12) Colombo Library, Llovizna&Sons, or OpenGroupForum - Libraries, Companies, or organizations aren't allowed to create a profile. Use a 'group' or a 'page' instead.

This regulation has gained severe opposition from those who prefer to have their online identity to be hidden or are interested in having a second life. Some of them choose to have a second life an independent one from their real, offline, or *first* life. They have a valid reason to have a different online identity, I feel. Whatever the name, let it sound like a bot, library, or a kitten, still there is a human behind the name. What matters the most is, no one's privacy should not be violated.

However these rules do not prevent the fake profile creators anyway. They just create fake profiles under real names. People are getting more into deeper fake stuff - SCIgen is an example, which allow you to generate fake papers, mostly used for a good motive of course - to identify the fake conferences by getting the fake papers auto-generated accepted.

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