What Rushdie's Facebook Win says about our Future

The argument over pseudonyms–the “nym wars”–is at the heart of Salman Rushdie's recent tussle with Facebook and how the Internet might be organized in the future.


What's the Latest Development?

The New York Times says writer Salman Rushdie's face-off with Facebook–over the deactivation of his account, demand for proof of identity and then temporarily turning him into Ahmed Rushdie–points to an increasingly vital debate that is emerging over how people represent and reveal themselves on the Web sites they visit.

What's the Big Idea?

The argument over pseudonyms–known online as the “nym wars”–goes to the heart of how the Internet might run in the future. Major companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter have a valuable stake in this debate and don't all share the same corporate philosophy. Should we use a sort of digital passport with our real name or have the right to don different hats?