Facebook modifies 'real names' policy, testing use of assumed names

Facebook on Tuesday modified a "real names" policy once protested by drag queen performers, the gay community, abuse victims and others.

See Full Article

New tools being tested in the United States were designed to reduce the number of people asked to verify their names at Facebook and make it easier for them to do so when needed.

But, Facebook made clear that it is not backing off from its policy that people at the social network should use names that friends and family know them by, and not those intended to hide who they really are.

"When people use the names they are known by, their actions and words carry more weight because they are more accountable for what they say," said an online post by product manager Todd Gage and vice president of global operations Justin Osofsky.

"It also makes it harder for bullies to anonymously smear the reputations of others, or anyone else to use an anonymous name to harass, scam or engage in criminal behavior."

Drag queens who got word late last year that their accounts using stage names were at risk sparked a high-profile protest joined by activists, domestic violence victims and others who want to avoid having real names on social network profiles.

The list of people understandably interested in using assumed names at Facebook goes far beyond drag queens to judges, social workers, teachers, entertainers, abuse victims and others, according to activists.

In the past, people could get an account suspended by simply tagging a name as fake at the social network.

Room for reasons

Those reporting suspected fake names to Facebook must now provide more information, such as the reason for their concern.

"We're also testing a new tool that will let people provide more information about their circumstances if they are asked to verify their name," the online post said.

"People can let us know they have a special circumstance, and then give us more information about their unique situation."

Teams at Facebook use the additional information for context while reviewing reports of names being fake, according to Gage and Osofsky.

Other changes made by Facebook during the past year include expanding options for verifying names and letting people keep access to social network accounts while going through the process.

"Early in the new year, we will be looking at other ways we can reduce the number of people who have to go through an ID verification experience, while preserving the safety of other people on the site," Gage and Osofsky said.

Facebook late last year vowed to ease its "real names" policy after publicly apologizing to quell a simmering dispute over its enforcement of the policy.

Facebook executives and representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities collaborated on a solution deemed acceptable to both sides, allowing people to use assumed names, subject to verification.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • What makes a dog man's best friend? It's in the genes

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Dogs that are extra friendly share certain genetic similarities with people who are born with a developmental disorder sometimes called the "opposite of autism," which makes them hyper social, researchers said Wednesday. The report in the journal Science Advances pinpointed changes in two genes that are related to extreme social behavior in dogs, and also in people who are born with Williams-Beuren Syndrome. Source
  • Neuroscientists find new way to make lab equipment on the cheap

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Neuroscientists from the Universities of Tubingen and Sussex have created a budget-friendly imaging and microscope system for research, training and teaching using 3D printing and inexpensive electronics components. Using 3D printing, cheap microcomputers and some other components you could pick up at at your local electronics store, researchers have pioneered an open-source, do-it-yourself alternative to prohibitively expensive lab equipment. Source
  • Moon dust heading to auction after monster court battle

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK - A bag containing traces of moon dust is heading to auction - surrounded by some fallout from a galactic court battle. The collection bag, used by astronaut Neil Armstrong during the first manned mission to the moon in 1969, will be featured Thursday at a Sotheby's auction in New York City of items related to space voyages. Source
  • SpaceX chief says 1st launch of big new rocket will be risky

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- SpaceX's chief says the first launch of its big new rocket is risky and stands "a real good chance" of failure. Founder Elon Musk told a space station research conference Wednesday he wants to set realistic expectations for the flight later this year from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Source
  • Aborigines in Australia longer than previously thought: study

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Australian Aborigines are believed to be custodians of the oldest continuous culture on the planet, but when they first arrived has been a contested issue. Previous estimates have ranged from 47,000 to 60,000 years ago. Source
  • News Feed at a cost? Facebook looking to create paywall system to let publishers charge for news

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Facebook is working on a way for news organizations to charge readers for articles they share and read on the social network. Facebook’s head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, says the current plan is to require payments after reading 10 articles from a publisher through Facebook. Source
  • Facebook working on way to charge for reading news articles

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Facebook is working on a way for news organizations to charge readers for articles they share and read on the social network. Facebook's head of news partnerships, Campbell Brown, says the current plan is to require payments after reading 10 articles from a publisher through Facebook. Source
  • World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than two miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study. Source
  • Humans have produced 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic, researchers say

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Plastic is in almost everything we use. Now researchers have calculated the staggering amount of the synthetic material humans have produced since large-scale production began in the 1950s: 8.3 billion tonnes. More disturbing, the researchers say, is the amount of plastic waste that humans have produced. Source
  • Google redesigns mobile search app to add personalized feed

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Google on Wednesday announced an overhaul of its search app on mobile phones to include a personalized feed of links about hobbies, travel, sports and other topics, a move that puts the search company into more direct competition with social networks such as Facebook. Source