Vint Cerf: Facebook shouldn't make you use your real name
5th Mar 2013 | 17:36
Not like Google+ used to
Vint Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the internet, has professed his disdain for Facebook, saying that you should have the option to use a pseudonym if you want.
What a surprise, given that Vint Cerf is a senior executive and Chief Internet Evangelist at Facebook's newest arch-enemy, Google.
This sudden penchant for pseudonyms may seem a little hypocritical to anyone who remembers the hoo-hah Google+ faced when it originally banned people for using names other than their given ones.
"Using real names is useful," he said. "But I don't think it should be forced on people, and I don't think we do."
Not like the olden days
"Anonymity and pseudonymity are perfectly reasonable under some situations. But there are cases where in the transactions both parties really need to know who are we talking to.
"So what I'm looking for is not that we shut down anonymity but rather that we offer an option when needed that can strongly authenticate who the parties are."
"There was a debate on this subject and it was resolved. Our conclusion was that choice is important."
Cerf went on to talk briefly about his lacklustre relationship with Facebook, saying, "I'm on Facebook and I found it less than useful."
This lack of use seems to be down to Facebook's friend limit of 5,000 friends, which Cerf says he hit too quickly - total humble brag.
"I complained to Sheryl Sandberg [at Facebook] that I thought that was a personal insult that they thought I had too many friends," he added. "I think they changed it for me."