Facebook has released a new app that will let users communicate anonymously – and the social network says trolls and online bullying won’t be an issue.
Rooms, a standalone mobile app for iOS, aims to allow users to discuss sensitive issues they would ordinarily not be comfortable doing by letting them interact on Facebook without having to use their real names.
And the social network claims that trolls will not be able to take advantage of the anonymity as moderators can ban devices instead of users – meaning internet bullies can’t create multiple accounts to harass people.
‘There is a good reason in a lot of situations why you don’t want people to know who you are and it’s not because of something sketchy. We want to give people flexibility because that’s what they want,’ Facebook product manager Josh Miller told the Telegraph.
Rooms lets users create an anonymous area which they can customise with colours, icons and cover photos, and invite others to join.
It will also be included in Facebook’s community guidelines, meaning hate speech, threats or spam can result in the removal of posts, members or entire rooms.
The app marks a change for the social media giant, who, since their inception in 2004, have insisted on users registering their real names when signing up.
It’s a departure not everyone is happy with: chief product officer Chris Cox said that pseudonymity can be unsafe.
‘It’s part of what made Facebook special in the first place, by differentiating the service from the rest of the internet where pseudonymity, anonymity or often random names were the social norm,’ he said, of Facebook’s ‘real name’ policy.