Facebook’s recent attempts to prevent fraudulent activity on its platform have drawn both heat and praise. Last week, Facebook issued a statement regarding its continued commitment to combat the proliferation of spammers selling fake “likes.” Facebook explained that businesses can harm themselves through the use of such services because they “could end up doing less business on Facebook if the people they’re connected to aren’t real.”
While the company’s stated intent to cut down on this form of spam has garnered positive response from users, other practices aimed at protecting the authenticity of interactions have come under severe criticism. For instance, last week Facebook officially apologized to the outspoken protestors, Sister Roma and Lil Miss Hot Mess, for its practice of flagging and freezing profiles made under drag queen pseudonyms. Facebook’s product chief issued the apology, stating that hundreds of drag queens who were flagged for violating Facebook’s real-name policy will be able to use their stage names on Facebook. The same practice of requiring the “real names” of users has drawn similar criticism in the context of domestic violence victims and political dissidents living within authoritarian political regimes.