After getting thrown a tremendous amount of shade from drag queens, thespians, and other users who go by stage names, Facebook is reversing course on its “real name” policy and allowing the use of aliases on the social media platform.
Earlier this month, according to this Inquisitr report, Facebook announced that it was locking, and would eventually delete, hundreds of accounts that were flagged as “fake” by other users. Facebook has always maintained a “real name” policy, said Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox via MSN, as a way to prevent abuse, cyber-bullying, and impersonation.
“We’ve had this policy for over 10 years, and until recently it’s done a good job of creating a safe community without inadvertently harming groups like what happened here.”
Unfortunately, that policy spelled trouble for the accounts of several users who maintain separate accounts for their real lives and for their stage lives. The policy particularly affected drag queens, according to Reuters, who may have separate accounts for their real lives and their stage personas to protect their true identities from retribution by employers and families, or from stalkers.
Several San Francisco drag queens, and a San Francisco politician who also took up the cause, met with representatives from Facebook last month to discuss the effects the “real name” policy would have on people who use stage names, as well as to demand that Facebook reconsider the policy.
Cox announced the decision Wednesday, saying that it was never the social media giant’s intention to alienate a large part of its intended audience.
“I want to apologize to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbors, 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.”
From now on, drag queens will be able to maintain Facebook profiles with their stage names.
“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.”
Facebook, still a dominant force is social media, is steadily losing users to other social media outlets such as Ello, which does not accept advertising like Facebook does, and which at one time was receiving some 30,000 new user requests per hour. Facebook hopes that reversing the ban on drag queen names will help slow that trend.
[Image courtesy of: Blue Pearl Girls World]