You may recall the post I wrote on the case of HL (A Minor) v Facebook. That case, a ranting polemic filed by the father of an out-of-control minor in Northern Ireland, had the effect of setting forth a practical standard for why requiring all social media users to confirm their identity with a government ID – as some right-wing politicians have demanded as part of their usual grandstanding theatrics – simply will not work in practice. Facebook’s culpability in HL v Facebook was frankly neither here nor there, and in fact, they set forth a good defence showing they had already done everything in their power to prevent the deeply disturbed minor from creating more Facebook accounts.
If you want to shake a German to his very core, there are three words that will do it: “Ihre papieren, bitte.”
A bit like this:
I got a big laugh at WordCamp London when I showed the audience this tweet as an example of an “unhelpful intervention”.
— Julian Huppert (@julianhuppert) March 17, 2015
The idea of being required to present proof of identification to use social networking sites is obviously a dystopian nightmare borne out of desperate political populism. Aside from that, though, the idea has already been proven – in the courts – to be a non-starter.