A Facebook director, who recently revealed that the firm had cracked down on ‘multiple identities’, was himself found to have another account, in contravention of the social network’s policy.
Richard Allan, Facebook’s Director of Policy for Europe, told the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics, that the company enforced a strict ban on people who did not represent themselves under their real identity.
Allan, however, himself had two ‘presences’ on the site. One, ‘Richard Allan’, that showed pictures and links to his work on Facebook.
And other ‘shadow account’ ‘Ric Allan’, which contained a silhouette in place of a picture and gave no indication of who lay behind it apart from ten ‘friends’, including the divorced peer’s girlfriend, The Daily Mail reports.
After The Mail inquired about the ‘Ric Allan’ identity on Friday, it was swiftly deleted.
According to the paper, Allan told the inquiry last week that if people came to the site and did not present themselves under their real identity, they would not have a ‘meaningful experience’.
“We have a security team constantly looking for the people trying to get around the system. The sort of people carrying out malicious behaviour will use false identities. We find the strongest protection is that community of users,” he had said at that time.
The issue of Facebook identities became controversial in 2011 when Indian-origin author Salman Rushdie was told he had to use his birth name Ahmed on his profile instead of his middle name Salman.
His account was deactivated until he made the change to reflect the name on his identity documents.