Facebook Plans To Adjust Real-Name Policy Enforcement To Address Concerns Of LGBT Community
Facebook plans to adjust how it enforces its real-name policy after coming under strong criticism from the LGBT community. Today, Facebook’s chief product officer met with a group representing those angered by the company’s recent action against the accounts of a number of prominent drag performers and apologized. Later, he posted an apology in a […]
Facebook plans to adjust how it enforces its real-name policy after coming under strong criticism from the LGBT community.
Today, Facebook’s chief product officer met with a group representing those angered by the company’s recent action against the accounts of a number of prominent drag performers and apologized. Later, he posted an apology in a public Facebook post:
I want to apologize to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbors, and members of the LGBT community for the hardship that we’ve put you through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks.
In the two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced, we’ve had the chance to hear from many of you in these communities and understand the policy more clearly as you experience it. We’ve also come to understand how painful this has been. We owe you a better service and a better experience using Facebook, and we’re going to fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were.
On balance Cox wrote, the company’s real-name emphasis has been a force for good, holding the line against impersonation, trolling, bullying and intolerance from people hiding behind fake names.
This time Facebook flat footed. Cox said the recent account issues were sparked by a Facebook user who reported several hundred profiles as fake and that in the mix of hundreds of thousands of reports Facebook processes weekly, they didn’t recognize the pattern.
For years, Facebook has asked users whose identities are questioned to provide proof with some form of ID, a drivers license, library card, piece of mail, etc.
Our policy has never been to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name. The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life. For Sister Roma, that’s Sister Roma. For Lil Miss Hot Mess, that’s Lil Miss Hot Mess. Part of what’s been so difficult about this conversation is that we support both of these individuals, and so many others affected by this, completely and utterly in how they use Facebook.
Cox promised that Facebook will build better tools for reporting and enforcing the policy and improve customer service for accounts that have been flagged.
And it appears that the apology and promise to do better were well received by the angered parties. Mark Snyder, senior communications manager for the Transgender Law Center, attended the meeting today at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters and said Cox seemed sincere.
“The apology from Facebook was most appreciated,” Snyder said in a telephone interview with Marketing Land. “Today was a significant step forward to finding a solution so all of us can be our authentic selves online.”
Here’s Cox’s full post: