Thursday, May 20, 2010

Doctors using alias names on Facebook

I know several doctors who're on Facebook, but they're using an alias instead of their real names. Why?  They want to maximize their privacy from their patients.

Isn't it ironic? Patients worry about privacy because they're divulging all their medical information. Physicians also want privacy from their patients so that their patients aren't calling their cell phones or stalking them at home.

We live in a world where everyone wants privacy, even on Facebook. You can be on Facebook but you can stay off the search radar. That means that people can't find you even if they search for you on Facebook. For some doctors, that's simply not enough. They'd rather use an alias so they can stay connected with close friends and family. They want to see photos of family members. They want to write on someone's wall. But, they want maximum privacy.

So, as Facebook updates its privacy settings, more physicians may simply choose to use an alias so that they can stay off the grid. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Here's a snippet from the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (revised 4/22/2010)

Registration and Account Security

Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:

   1. You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.
   2. You will not create more than one personal profile.
   3. If we disable your account, you will not create another one without our permission.
   4. You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
   5. You will not use Facebook if you are under 13.
   6. You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.
   7. You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
   8. You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
   9. You will not transfer your account (including any page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission.
  10. If you select a username for your account we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user's actual name).

How many people do you know who are currently using Facebook with an alias name?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Privacy is important so I guess it's ok to use aliases. Thanks for posting this informative blog.

  3. I think it's their right to have the freedom to make their accounts in private as of today in spite of their career as doctors they can't share some of their information.