Are you legally allowed to pick any username of nickname for online services?

I can imagine that usernames like mario123, Lawyer84 and user112141 won't cause any problems. But what if I pick a nickname or variation in an email address like Michael Jackson, Barack Obama or Mark Zuckerberg?

Can the the use of such a username, nickname or email address be considered misleading or even as identity fraud?

  • 1
    I guess the first thing to think about is is anyone really anyone on the internet? – user548 Jun 22 '16 at 20:13
  • A username "Lawyer84" when you are not a lawyer makes it suspiciously look like you pretend to be a lawyer, which could get you into trouble if you give any legal advice. – gnasher729 Jun 23 '16 at 8:33

You can use any pseudonym you like in the real world so why should it be different on the Internet?

If you used that pseudonym to break the law then that would be part of that offence, not an offence of its own.

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  • ... but of course the service provider can also put any restriction it likes on the names it will accept. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Aug 2 '16 at 19:53

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