Facebook will soon only be usable with real names? The Federal Court of Justice has to decide on the obligation to use real names


Can Facebook require all users to enter their real names in their profiles? The Federal Court of Justice is currently dealing with this question. Two users had sued the social media group who wanted to remain anonymous on Facebook

Two Facebook users who want to manage their profiles under a pseudonym have a good chance before the Federal Court of Justice (BGH). However, this is mainly due to the fact that old terms of use from 2015 and 2018 are relevant in their cases, which the judges consider to be ineffective for various reasons, as became apparent on Thursday at the Karlsruhe hearing.

When assessing more recent disputes, however, the new EU data protection law that came into force in May 2018 would play a role. What applies today will probably only be clarified in further proceedings. The decision is to be announced after the turn of the year, on January 27th. (Az. III ZR 3/21 etc.)

Facebook: Without real names, there is a risk of blocking your account

Facebook: A ruling on the real name requirement is expected in early 2022.
Facebook: A ruling on the real name requirement is expected in early 2022.

Photo: Tobias Hase / dpa

Facebook relies on the so-called real name requirement, so users should use their real names. Otherwise your account could be blocked. The two plaintiffs, a man and a woman, want to be able to express their opinions anonymously.

The German Telemedia Act actually stipulates that providers of the use and payment of the services should enable the use “anonymously or under a pseudonym, insofar as this is technically possible and reasonable”. In the EU, however, a new General Data Protection Regulation has been in force since 2018, which does not contain this provision.


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