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13:28 | 25th May 2017

News: UK

Thu 2 Oct, 2014
By Robert Ingham


Drag queens challenged the social media giant in September after several received emails telling them that they must change their profiles to their “real names”

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Facebook apologized to drag queens on Wednesday following a meeting with community members and queens who protested against the company’s order to use their legal names on the social networking site.

Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, said: “I want to apologise to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbours, 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.”

Drag queens challenged the social media giant in September after several received emails telling them that they must change their profiles to their “real names”.

Cox said one Facebook user reported several hundred accounts as fake, which prompted their incorporation into the company’s weekly fake names report. He said that 99% of the accounts that make that report are “bad actors doing bad things” like impersonating and bullying, and said nobody at Facebook had noticed the pattern of one person reporting specific types of accounts.



He said the policy has never required everyone on Facebook to use their legal name and that the company is building better tools to authenticate accounts for users who prefer not to, like drag queens. He also said Facebook is working to require better customer service for people whose accounts are flagged, which was one of the key demands made by the drag queens and their supporters.

“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,” said Cox. “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.”

Source: The Guardian

To read more, click www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/01/victory-drag-queens-facebook-apologises-real-name-policy

 

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