Is it Legal to Use an Alias on Social Media?
Not only is it legal to use an alias on social media, it has been done by many people for many years. Twitter recently deleted thousands of fake accounts, even though it may have bought down their subscriber numbers temporarily. This was in an effort to remove “trolls” or catfish. Many of these accounts are used by various special interest groups to harass people online, create trouble, post highly controversial information, and stalk people online. People also use them to express their true opinions about various topics that they are too afraid to take credit for. They fear they may lose their job, or be harassed or stalked by those who disagree with their opinions. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right in some places, however, our fellow citizens don’t always see it that way. Many feel the need to take it upon themselves to admonish or even stalk and make trouble for others because they have an opposing opinion. It is illegal and against most social media policy to harass, name call, and otherwise harm another person with verbal assault or threats online. Most accounts are either deleted or suspended if the language becomes vicious, threatening or violent. This does not stop people from taking other actions outside of Twitter, which is why many people use an alias.
There are people who use an alias for good reasons and those who use them for nefarious reasons. We in no way encourage anyone to use a fake handle to do harm to others. That behavior is illegal. If you’re using an alias to stalk, harass, cause harm to or threaten others, you can be tracked by your IP address and be sued or have a restraining order placed on you. If you are targeting a specific individual either on your own or for a group, this can be considered domestic terrorism, and that would also be illegal. Threats of violence are often investigated by the FBI or police as is language associated with hate crimes, sexual assault, and terrorism. So while it is legal to create an alias account, it is not legal to use it for threatening or causing harm to other people.
If you are trying to protect your own identity, for whatever reason, whether it be that you are afraid of expressing your true opinions, or because you don’t want social media companies selling your posts, likes, dislikes, and opinions to data brokers for profit, then creating an alias might be a good idea. If your personal information has been posted online, and you have done a search removal test, then you might want to remove your name from the internet. A good internet removal service can delete information from the internet and help keep your personal information online private. Getting your personal information offline is also a good way to have some privacy online.