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Facebook's Real Name Policy: How It's Changing

Facebook's policy requiring the use of real names that has caused protests from the some communities is getting tweaked. When people report a "fake" name, they will have to explain whether it's a case of impersonation, a fictional character or a name that the person doesn't actually go by. Facebook will also make it easier for those reported to explain themselves.


The tools are being tested in the U.S. for a limited number of users, but Facebook plans to roll them out across the globe. Those who are reported will be able to inform Facebook if they use a different name than their legal name due to unique circumstances, such as to avoid stalkers or abusers, using a name they identify within the LGBT community or if they just have an uncommon name.

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Credit: Facebook

(Image credit: Facebook)


"We recognize that it’s also important that this policy works for everyone, especially for communities who are marginalized or face discrimination," a Facebook blog post reads.

The social network also says that they will be looking for ways to reduce the number of users who have to verify their names by providing documentation or ID. In the meantime, the company has bulked up security for documents that users provide.

The Verge reported that Facebook worked with gay rights group incluging GLAAD and Human Rights Campaign while putting together the new tools.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg faced some harsh criticism when he suggested that people who go by an alias showed a lack of integrity. In 2014, the social network deleted accounts of several prominent drag queens for violating the company's real name policy, causing protests in San Franscisco. Facebook says it receives hundreds of thousands of reports of fake names every week.