Facebook’s “real name” policy has taken a lot of heat over the years. Enter Joe Veix, who made an entirely fake human and let internet strangers decide his story.
Veix, a writer and inveterate Web experimenter, posted the login info for his new fake Facebook account, who goes by Maximilien Manning, and stood back to watch the effects.
Cover photos changed instantly, locations changed like rapid fire, he made a bunch of new friends around the world, and Maximilien went through more jobs in a few days than most will in a lifetime.
His likes, according to Facebook, range from the Buffalo Bills to pet crematoriums and communism. And, he took to managing people’s complaints. Veix said:
On Sunday, someone changed the profile and cover photos to the Taco Bell logo, updated the account’s job to ‘Customer Service Representative’ and started messaging people complaining to Taco Bell on Facebook, pretending to be a social media manager for the company.
Veix also said that the account had been accessed 135 times as of Monday by people across the globe, from the United Arab Emirates to New Jersey.
Max’s Facebook success led Veix to expand to Instagram and Twitter, which came with mixed results. Instagram hasn’t done well, and Twitter kicked him off almost immediately for ‘suspicious activity’:
[It] instantly became sort of like 4chan on methamphetamines. Someone posted the lyrics to ‘One Headlight’ while others added a bunch of bizarre photos. After someone started harassing a teenage girl, I decided to shut it down. Before I got a chance, Twitter locked the account for suspicious activity, right as I was screen grabbing the feed one last time for posterity…
But, Max’s personal Facebook page is alive and well. He’s not ‘suspicious,’ Veix says, because he’s the perfect Facebook user: friending people, liking things, and sharing posts is exactly what Facebook wants.
Anyways, to make this story come to a full circle, Veix’s experiment, at the very least, proves how illogical and even ridiculous Facebook’s ‘real name’ policy is.