Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Facebook Mea Culpa: Real Name Apology

Posted By on Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Well, just as we reported this morning, that Facebook apology drag queens and the Transgender Law Center were fighting for, well, it happened.

According to The Advocate, this happened:

After several meetings with drag queens and others concerned about Facebook's policy requiring users to be listed under their "real name," an officer with the social networking giant has apologized for the policy and offered a clarification.

"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," wrote chief product officer Chris Cox in a Facebook post this afternoon. "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."

A statement from the Transgender Law Center:

"We had a very productive meeting with Facebook 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.

We are excited to work in good faith with Facebook to address all the concerns raised in today's meeting.

What was made clear today is that Facebook 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."

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