Facebook founder's sister against online anonymity

Fri 29th of July 2011, filed under Social Media

Facebook official calls to end online anonymity

Randi Zuckerberg believes internet users should no longer be allowed to hide their identities when communicating online.

The Facebook marketing director, sister of founder Mark, told a panel hosted by Marie Claire that such a move would make people "behave a lot better" when using the net. As it stands, she commented, they feel they can say whatever they like regardless of the consequences.

"I think anonymity on the internet has to go away," said Zuckerberg. "I think people hide behind anonymity and they feel like they can say whatever they want behind closed doors."

Opening up the net

Ms Zuckerberg's comments echo opinions voiced by former Google head Eric Schmidt. He has previously called internet anonymity a "dangerous" problem, adding that it is something that governments will eventually step in on and regulate.

Rachel Hand, content writer at theEword, agrees: "The internet's age of innocence has passed now. Today it's a very serious part of people's personal lives as well as their business. Regulation against cyber bullying would not be a surprise."

Earlier this year, the Trusted Friend Facebook feature was launched. This option was designed to encourage younger users to report any indecent behaviour they encounter online to an authority figure such as a teacher or parent.

Director of European policy Richard Allan said the scheme's formulation looked to bring online and offline social norms closer together. He elaborated that in real-life situations, there is a sense of when an issue needs to be brought to the attention of a grown-up, and that Trusted Friend was born with this in mind.

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