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#PublikFacebook: What Happens When #Facebook Goes Communal

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Last week, artist and Facebook user Joe Veix decided to create an account and publish the login details online. If a Facebook profile is supposed to reflect our individuality, what would an account that everyone uses look like? The account – dubbed PublikFacebook – didn’t get off to an encouraging start when someone logged in and changed the password, then locked the account. Veix reset the account and apologised.

Then things snowballed. First of all, one user changed the account name from John Smith to ‘Maximilien Manning.’ Then the profile and cover photos started to change – a lot.

The fake life of ‘Maximilien’ was ever-changing over the weekend. He added Veix as his father and then had a baby with him. He moved from New Mexico to Brooklyn to Bali to Sri Lanka, and even found time to visit the Islamic State of Iraq for a holiday (10/10, by the way – Max would recommend).
Max’s professional life was busy with jobs at Dave & Busters, Arby’s and Taco Bell. He also had an obsession with pet crematoriums and communism, liking hundreds of pages. His hobbies included Hungry Hungry Hippos and listening to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.
Inevitably the account turned to trolling. On Sunday someone changed the profile and cover photos to the Taco Bell logo, updated Max’s job to ‘Customer Service Representative’, and started spamming customers on the actual Taco Bell page.

As of Monday there had been 135 logins from countries worldwide, including Sweden, France, and the United Arab Emirates. A similar account on Twitter was ‘sort of like 4Chan on methamphetamines,' Veix said. But it was only short-lived – it quickly became a venue for abuse and eventually had to be closed due to ‘suspicious activity.’ In the meantime, Max became a fruitarian.
While it was a fun experiment, it also made a point about Facebook’s ‘real name’ policy. Veix told BuzzFeed that the fake account may have been popular because it’s posts were made more visible in other users’ news feeds by Facebook’s algorithms. It seems that an account that ‘spammed the s*** out of everyone’ is more welcome on Facebook than one owned by someone who doesn’t want to use their ‘legal’ name for reasons of personal safety.

Sadly, the account was eventually closed on Tuesday. 'Max' was dead. But Veix has now created an account on Tumblr. When I tried to log in, the login limit was exceeded, so we’ll have to wait...
login: thepublikfacebook@gmail.com
pw: password1234

Aaron Waterhouse

Aaron is a recent English graduate from Durham University who is now working as a content writer intern. An enthusiastic traveller, he hopes to become a journalist and report from around the world. Follow him @AaronAtSMF

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#PublikFacebook: What Happens When #Facebook Goes Communal Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, July 19, 2015 Rating: 5

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