Facebook Promises Changes to 'Real Name' Policy

Had been focus of anger from drag queens and transgender people


In an apology to the LGBT community Wednesday, Facebook said it promises to make fixes to how it enforces a long-held policy requiring users to display their "real names" on personal profiles. The change comes after weeks of outcry from LGBT community advocates who said the policy unfairly affects transgender users and drag queen performers.

"We owe you a better service and a better experience using Facebook, and we're going to fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were," said Chris Cox, company's chief product officer, in a statement on Facebook. "[W]e see through this event that there's lots of room for improvement in the reporting and enforcement mechanisms, tools for understanding who's real and who's not, and the customer service for anyone who's affected."

LGBT community advocates met with representatives at Facebook's Menlo Park, California headquarters to follow up on concerns raised last month that the social network's policy disproportionately impacts the LGBT community; particularly, transgender users and drag queen performers who often use names on their personal profiles that don't match forms of identification Facebook requests to verify the identities of its users.