“We had a very productive meeting with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) today in which they apologized for the way this situation has been handled, and they committed to making changes to the way they enforce their ‘real names’ policy to ensure that folks who need to use chosen names that reflect their authentic selves online are able to do so,” said Mark Snyder Senior Manager of Communications at the Transgender Law Center.
“We are excited to work in good faith with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to address all the concerns raised in today’s meeting,” he said.
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“What was made clear today is that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is ready to collaborate with our communities and shares our value of making sure everyone is able to safely be their authentic self online. We applaud the many staff at Facebook who advocated tirelessly for this progress.”
The policy change
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) recently added a real-name policy to the site that requires users to use a name “as it would be listed on your credit card, driver’s license or student ID” or their account could be deleted.
The policy drew the ire of many users from the LGBT community who feel uncomfortable using their real names.
Yesterday, saw numerous LGBT advocates meet with representatives of Facebook including Chief Product Officer Chris Cox. This group included Sister Roma, a leader of the San Francisco-based Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence advocacy group who found his Facebook account suspended and was forced to use his birth name.
“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 Inc (NASDAQ:FB) accounts over the past few weeks,” wrote Mr. Cox in a Facebook post following the sit down.
Facebook (FB) explains
Cox stated that it was never Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s intention to offend the LGBT community but rather had adopted the new policy to combat trolling, impersonation and cyberbullying. Cox said that Facebook is “already underway building better tools for authenticating the Sister Romas of the world while not opening up Facebook to bad actors.” He didn’t, however, mention what the company will specifically do.
The new social media site Ello is enjoying an exodus from Facebook of late and Ello founder Paul Budnitz has taken the time recently to reach out to those offended by Facebook’s policy change.
“Ello welcomes the LGBTQ community and we’re very excited to see so many people moving over!” he told the Daily Dot recently.