Facebook responds to ‘real name’ policy backlash

1 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook to Tweak ‘Real Name’ Policy in December.

The day that Facebook decided my name was not real enough and summarily cut me off from my friends, family and peers and left me with the stark choice between using my legal name or using a name people would know me by.

First, the site will now allow users to provide additional context and explanation for using the name they do when confirming their accounts. “It will also help us better understand the reasons why people can not currently confirm their name, informing potential changes we make in the future,” he aadded. The policy has received criticism mostly from members of the LGBT communities and advocates who face problems and feel uncomfortable using their real names due to the nature of their work. This has been done to dissuade people from frivolously flagging profiles, which locks the targeted user out of their profile until they can confirm they are who they say they are. The social network has been widely criticized by many who have very legitimate, normal reasons to use a name that differs from what they’re officially called. In the next month, Facebook “will be gathering additional feedback from the community to make sure we are on the right track,” Schultz wrote, according to BuzzFeed.

So, you won’t just be able to troll around Facebook and spam “not a real name” requests—you’ll have to offer up some kind of reason as to why, exactly, you’re reporting a person’s profile. When people use the name others know them by, they are more accountable for what they say, making it more difficult to hide behind an anonymous name to harass, bully, spam or scam someone else. A review of our reports from earlier this year showed that bullying, harassment or other abuse on Facebook is eight times more likely to be committed by people using names other than their own than by the rest of the Facebook community. It is a story of how authenticity triumphed — how people using their names instead of handles encouraged them to add people they were genuinely friends with and to talk about their daily lives. That’s why we’re making changes now and in the future, and will continue to engage with you and all who are committed to looking after the most vulnerable people using our product.

It’s a balance to get this right — we want to find a line that minimizes bullying but maximises the potential for people to be their authentic selves on Facebook. Request 1: “Commit to allowing pseudonyms and non-legal names on its site in appropriate circumstances, including but not limited to situations where using an every day name would put a user in danger, or situations where local law requires the ability to use pseudonyms.” We do not require people to use their legal names on Facebook. Creating a social network where people used the names that they were already recognised by has made it more accessible and popular than any other social network in the world. Historically, when people were prompted to confirm their Facebook profile name, there was no opportunity to give additional details or context on their unique situation. Pages have much of the same functionality as personal profiles: you can like and comment on posts, message people privately and have an unlimited network of connections.

We use names that don’t match our ID on Facebook for safety, or because we’re trans, or because we’re just straight up not known by our legal names. This could include allowing users to submit written evidence, answer multiple-choice questions, or provide alternative documentation such as links to blog posts or other online platforms where they use the same identity.” Facebook no longer requires government IDs to verify people’s identity.

Request 4: “Give users technical details and documentation on the process of submitting identity information such as where and how it is stored, for how long, and who can access it. Facebook have handed an enormous hammer to those who would like to silence us, and time after time I see that hammer coming down on trans women who have just stepped out of line by suggesting that perhaps we’re being mistreated. It’s an insult that Facebook is sponsoring Pride in SF, marching and flying the rainbow flag and helping everyone change their profile picture, when they cannot fix this simple thing.

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