Why Taiwanese people do not comply with Facebook’s real name policy

Ming-Shian Wu1
1Department of Digital Humanities, Aletheia University, Taiwan
Cite this article:  Wu, M. (2016). Why Taiwanese people do not comply with Facebook’s real name policy. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 44, 1371-1378.

Volume 44 Issue 8 | e4211 | Published: September 2016 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2016.44.8.1371

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I explored the naming practices adopted by Taiwanese users of Facebook in relation to the website’s real name policy, with the aim of identifying the underlying reasons for choosing not to comply with this policy. For this investigation, I surveyed 993 user accounts and conducted 40 interviews, with the results revealing that there are 4 main types of naming methods that are most commonly encountered in a Taiwanese cultural context: official name in Chinese, Romanized official name, English name with Romanized surname, and nickname. I uncovered 5 underlying reasons for choosing usernames: expecting to connect with friends and acquaintances, using a previous name, attempting to hide from individuals, intending not to use a real name online, and following globalization trends. The results indicated that 42.70% of users surveyed did not rigorously adhere to the real name policy, and that naming practices differed between university students and working professionals. My findings have implications for practitioners seeking to effectively develop and manage their online social network.

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