Facebook overhauls its 'Real Name' policy rules after intense backlash from the transgender community and various Rights organizations.
Facebook has recently announced a slew of changes for users unfairly removed from its network due to its real names policy. The move comes as the policy has come under intense scrutiny from the transgender community who’ve been kicked out of the network for not complying with the site’s real name policy, along with users who believe it is not safe to user their real names at work.
“We want to reduce the number of people who are asked to verify their name on Facebook, when they are already using the name people know them by. We want to make it easier for people to confirm their name if necessary,” wrote Facebook VP of Growth Alex Schultz in a letter the company released yesterday.
Hence, the new changes are essentially aimed at giving users who are apparently victims of the policy more ways to voice their discontent to the company. Under the new guidelines, affected user can provide some context as to why their name does not match with the legal name upon questioning. Earlier they were not allowed to do so, as Facebook was rather stringent about keeping the network an anti-anonymity zone with its real name policy.
Facebook has been working on this name verification policy change for several months now, as they continue to streamline the process as a whole. Now the company says it is not a mandatory for people to use their legal names, just the ones they use or are commonly known by in real life.
As already mentioned, the policy change comes after it was heavily criticized by the transgender community along with 75 rights organizations who signed an open letter urging the social networking giant to alter the controversial policy. Some communities who opposed are rather pleased with Facebook’s new move to make the policy a little more flexible.
The new change is expected to go into effect starting December.
Though the company is not entirely backing away from the policy, which according to the company has made Facebook a safer place.
“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,” Schultz added.