I do not like my legal name. I don’t want to use it, and I actually don’t. At work, I use a fake name. My boss understands, because he knows that my legal name can be found in many Internet spaces as a queer activist, a beauty contest opponent, and an anti-Japan blogger as I used to do all these things under my legal name. My legal name also is indicative of my legal gender, too. So, no, I don’t use my legal name online.
Facebook, however, has what is called real-name policy. I experimented with lots of different names but settled with using my legal name on my personal account, mostly out of fear of complete shutdown of my account. What I did, instead, was to create a Facebook Page. The title is my activist name and people can find me by searching for Masaki C. I can still Like things and receive private messages, though I cannot join Groups, make friends connections, or send messages unless the other person has sent me one.
But for those who don’t really use the Group feature, or feel that they don’t have to be “friends” with their followers (people who know you as the activist that you are, and Like your Page), creating an activist Page can be the solution.
And here’s what you’re gonna have to do:
1. Click the following URL to go to “Create a Page.”
2. You see something like this. Choose “Artist, Band, or Public Figure.”
3. The bottom-right pane opens and shows something like this. Choose “Writer” as your category. (Or, if you’re more of a dancer, or a musician, pick whatever feels right.)
4. Now, type in your activist name in the little box beside the category-chooser. Don’t forget to check off that “I agree to…” box.
5. Write a short bio blurb in the box that appears. You can also add a website if you have one. I don’t know how exactly to answer that yes/no question, but when I made my Page, I was too shy to say I was famous. You can be more courageous.
6. Click “Save Info” and you’re prompted to upload a Page photo. You want it to be more than 300x300px. Then you are asked to type your desired ID (http://www.facebook.com/XXXXXXXX). After that, Facebook asks you to add payment method, which you can totally ignore and “Skip.”
7. Now, your Page has been created. Facebook might give you instructions on how to build audience blah blah blah, but you can skip all of them. If you have successfully created your activist persona Facebook Page, this kind of list appears when you click that gear icon on top left. Click the new Page name, and you are now using Facebook as XXXXXX (your activist persona).
8. Now, you can search for Pages to Like. You can go back to your personal account via the gear icon to see the list of the Pages you have already Liked as your personal account. Copy and paste the list into a Word document or Text Edit (or, just about anything that accepts rich formatting), go back to your activist Page persona (via the gear icon), and search for the Pages to Like them. Enjoy!
Kind of related: You can also change your personal account’s gender information to Unknown, so that (1) no one can see your gender and (2) you will appear as a “they” instead of a “she” or “he.” Click here to go to the instructions: Remove Facebook Gender.