In response to
criticism from the LGBT community over its “real-name” policy, Facebook is apologizing for any harm done, while vowing to improve its policing system.
“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,” Chris Cox, chief product officer at Facebook, explained in a Wednesday blog post.
While promising to amend Facebook’s real-name policy, Cox said it remains critical to the health of its massive community.
“It's the primary mechanism we have to protect millions of people every day, all around the world, from real
harm,” according to Cox. “The stories of mass impersonation, trolling, domestic abuse, and higher rates of bullying and intolerance are oftentimes the result of people hiding behind fake
“It's part of what made Facebook special in the first place, by differentiating the service from the rest of the internet where pseudonymity, anonymity, or often random names were the social
norm,” Cox explained.
in light of the criticism from LGBT users and their advocates, Cox said Facebook is presently building better tools for authenticating the identities of those who wish to use names of their own
taking measures to provide much more deliberate customer service to those accounts that get flagged so that we can manage these in a less abrupt and more thoughtful way,” according to Cox.
Facebook’s existing policing system, which has been in place for 10
years, asks those accounts that are flagged by other users to verify that they are using real names by submitting some form of ID. According to Cox, 99% of flagged accounts are “bad actors doing
controversy has presented an opportunity for other social networks to show off their alternative policies. In particular, Ello has gotten a ton
in recent weeks, although skeptics
doubt the startup’s ability to truly threaten
Facebook’s market position.