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This article was published on September 26, 2012

Facebook completes test asking you to snitch on your friends, has no plans for a broad roll out

Facebook completes test asking you to snitch on your friends, has no plans for a broad roll out

Last week, we wrote about a controversial prompt Facebook was testing. Essentially, the social network was asking users to snitch on their friends if they weren’t using their real name. Menlo Park today confirmed with me that the test is complete. As such, nobody on the service should be getting the prompt anymore.

“This was a limited survey we have already concluded,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Next Web. “We are always looking to gauge how people use Facebook and represent themselves to better design our product and systems. We analysed these surveys only using aggregate data and responses had zero impact on any user’s account.”

I wanted to know about the results of the test (whether Facebook saw users snitching or not) as well as if there were plans to roll out the “feature” more broadly at some point. Facebook wouldn’t help me on the former, and the company gave a negative confirmation for the latter.

“We are still analyzing the results,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Next Web. “And no, we do not have any plans at the moment to roll out the test more broadly, but are always looking at ways to keep our users and their data safe.”

For reference, here is Facebook’s Name policy again, which includes the following question and answer:

Why doesn’t Facebook allow fake names?
Facebook is a community where people connect and share using their real identities. When everyone uses their real first and last names, people can know who they’re connecting with. This helps keep our community safe. We take the safety of our community very seriously. That’s why we remove fake accounts from the site as we find them.

Because I don’t believe encouraging snitching is a good way to enforce your rules, I said in my previous post that I was hoping the test would be a failure. While that part isn’t confirmed, it’s slightly reassuring to note that Facebook didn’t find it necessary to test the prompt on more users.

Image credit: stock.xchng

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