Can you commit perjury by creating a fake Facebook profile?

Facebook seems to think so. The social network asks owners of challenged accounts to declare "under penalty of perjury" that they're real. Update: Facebook responds.

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Ezor assumes that Facebook is either a) trying to scare people, or b) demonstrate due diligence in its efforts to combat fakes, for which it has come under a lot of fire lately, including from TY4NS.

The Internet Law Center’s Bennet Kelley puts it more bluntly.

“They can ask that you sign it, and terminate your account if you don't, but that is all,” he says. “If you sign it and have perjured yourself, the likelihood you will be prosecuted is less than the Charlotte Bobcats winning the NBA title.”

I’ve asked Facebook to explain what it thinks it’s getting out of this statement. I’ll update this post if they respond. But if nothing else, you have to give them credit for chutzpah.

Today I tried to log on to my imposter account, only to discover it had been nuked by Facebook. So at least somebody there is paying attention.  If the cops show up at my door to arrest me for bearing false witness, you’ll be the first to know -- I swear.

UPDATE: Facebook responds. Though he declined to address the perjury box question, spokesperson Frederic Wolens sent me FB's boilerplate policy regarding fake identities:

It’s a violation of our policies to use a fake name or operate under a false identity, and we encourage  people to report any abusive content they find, either through the report links we provide on the site or through the contact forms in our Help Center.  We take site integrity seriously and we employ a combination of technical systems and a dedicated User Operations team to flag and block potential fake accounts based on name, anomalous site activity and user reports.

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