Facebook Apologizes For Insensitive 'Real-Name' Policy

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 names.”
What’s more, “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.
Yet 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 choosing. 
“We're 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 bad things.”
The real-name controversy has presented an opportunity for other social networks to show off their alternative policies. In particular, Ello has gotten a ton of attention in recent weeks, although skeptics doubt the startup’s ability to truly threaten Facebook’s market position.



1 comment about "Facebook Apologizes For Insensitive 'Real-Name' Policy".
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  1. John Westra from Vuturus, October 2, 2014 at 6:35 p.m.

    It's 'great' that Facebook has apologized for their 'Insensitive 'Real-Name' Policy,' but what we really want is REPENTANCE!

    So far, all Facebook has done is pay lip (gloss) service to a vocal LGBT minority. They have so far, completely failed to address the REAL issue; the rights of individuals to represent themselves with any anonymous identity they see fit in Virtual spaces.

    I would like to see Chris Cox back up his claim that "99% of flagged accounts are "bad actors doing bad things!"" I know for a fact, the huge community of Facebook users who use their Online Gaming (MMOG) & Virtual World alternative IDs on Facebook (50,000+), continue to have their accounts suspended because of this policy. I know more than two dozen people in this category, whose only 'bad acting' has been to violate Facebook's Real Name policy!

    Facebook must stop hiding behind the Red Herring that it is using this policy to 'protect millions of people.' Chris, come clean and admit that Facebook's primary reason the the policy is to protect their privacy crushing advertising platform!

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently launched their Project Secret Identity https://projectsecretidentity.org/ initiative at Dragon Con, where Cos Players rallied behind the principal of anonymous identities online. I hope the media doesn't let Facebook get away with dismissing this as a no-issue or one that only effects the LGBT community!

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