Facebook is changing the way users can report people’s names, according to a blog post.
The previous process has come under fire from LGBT activists, among others, for the way it handles non-traditional or non-conventional names.
“We recognise that it’s important that this policy works for everyone,” said Justin Osofsky, vice president of global operations. “Especially for communities who are marginalized or face discrimination.”
The new system, which is being rolled out immediately in the US, requires more information when a user’s name is reported. There are now options to report imposters, fictional characters, and unexpected names.
This will help Facebook determine if the report is legitimate more quickly.
Facebook highlights that users should still be using the same name they use in real life, but the reporting process has now changed.
The reporting process — and real name policy as a whole — came under fire when the accounts of several hundred drag queen performers were closed down. Facebook quickly fixed the issue, but LGBT activists decried the company.
“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, Facebook’s chief product officer, at the time.
Access Now, an internet advocacy group that has previously criticised the company, said in a statement to The Verge that “we encourage Facebook to make this process as transparent as possible and invite input from a range of stakeholders to provide input on its design.”
Facebook asks for the “name you use in real life” which could, as has happened, not be the person’s legal name. To verify the name, Facebook asks for legal documents that may not be the “name [they] use in real life.”
Facebook is looking at these issues. “We want to create the best experience that we can for everyone,” said Osofsky. “We will continue to make improvements until everyone can use the name that their friends and family know them by.”
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