Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Facebook Continues Name Policy Controversy

Courtesy The Advocate...




As marriage equality celebrations echoed throughout the country Friday, a trans woman who at one time helped Facebook reflect users' gender diversity said she was still a target of discrimination: her profile was removed because the social media site deemed her name not "real" enough.

The woman, who goes by the name "Zip" online, posted her experiences to her Medium blog, saying:

"I always knew this day would come. The day that Facebook decided my name was not real enough and summarily cut me off from my friends, family and peers and left me with the stark choice between using my legal name or using a name people would know me by. With spectacular timing, it happened while I was at trans pride and on the day the Supreme Court made same sex marriage legal in the US."

And then she pointed out her situation's most ironic "twist," saying, "I used to work there. In fact, I’m the trans woman who initiated the custom gender feature. And the name I go by on Facebook? That’s the name that was on my work badge."

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Facebook's continued policy requiring users to register with their "authentic" name and to provide identification if asked — lest they risk being locked out of their accounts — has come down especially hard on members of LGBT communities who may go by nicknames or pseudonyms for safety, as well as trans people who use names different from the one assigned them at birth to reflect their authentic selves.

The debate over Facebook's the real-name policy first flared up last year, as drag queens and other LGBT community members were locked out of their accounts after a single user reported hundreds of people as having "fake names."

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