Police officers and their families have begun a petition campaign asking Facebook Inc. to revise its real-name policy and let them use pseudonyms or initials instead, reports the International Business Times. The officers cite safety concerns, particularly for law enforcement personnel who suddenly find themselves thrust into the public eye by a high-profile encounter or viral video.
An online petition at Change.org said officers and their families are often the target of stalking, harassment and death threats after such incidents. Facebook, with more than a billion users, requires people to go by their real names, a guideline that set it apart from many of its competitors. But critics say the policy is both unfair and haphazardly enforced. Facebook has defended the policy as a way of making users more accountable and of allowing identification of malicious content.