The plan marks a departure from company policy to have users disclose their identities or risk being booted from the network
Facebook plans to launch a standalone app that will allow users to mask their online identity, according to two anonymous company insiders speaking to the New York Times.
The two insiders, who divulged the plans to the Times on the condition of anonymity, said that the yet-unnamed app will allow users to sign up under a pseudonym, letting them engage in more candid discussions than they might otherwise have in public.
The report comes amid fallout from Facebook’s decision to boot several drag queens from the network for violating its naming policies by identifying themselves by their alter-egos rather than their birth names. Facebook quickly apologized for that move following intense backlash from several LGBT groups and other advocates.
Facebook’s anonymous app project is reportedly being spearheaded by Josh Miller, who heads the company’s “Conversations” group. Miller’s previous startup, Branch, attempted to foster intimate online discussions around shared interests. Facebook acquired Branch in January.