There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Facebook’s real name policy. This policy requires that users use their real name on their accounts. Facebook deems your “real name” as the name that’s on your birth certificate, driver’s license, mail, what your friends and family call you, etc.
This caused issues for people with unusual circumstances. Some of these circumstances included members of the LGBT community as well as people experiencing stalking and domestic abuse. Individuals falling into these categories would have their accounts disabled and be required to prove that the name on the account was their legal name (drivers license, mail, birth certificate, etc.). If they were using a “fake name” on their account, Facebook would delete their account. In these instances, people that are experiencing a sex change or fear their safety, don’t want to use their real, legal names on their accounts. So, many people took their frustrations online and voiced their frustrations with how this policy is unfair to certain groups.
Facebook, has now responded and has made their process for handling “fake names” more intense. While the policy itself is not changing, they are making some improvements for those with special circumstances. Now, users that are reported as having a fake account are given a 7 day period to change the name on their account or verify that their name is correct before is is disabled. They will also allow users to explain their circumstances when they are verifying their account if they are experiencing a circumstance such as the ones mentioned previously. This way, Facebook will be able to give these cases “personalized support.”
They have also made the process of reporting a user as having a “fake name” more intense. The goal with this is to help prevent bullying on their site and harassing people by reporting their account. Previously, when you reported an account, you didn’t have to provide any background information. Now, Facebook is requiring users that report an account for using a fake name to provide additional information.
Kudos to you Facebook for constantly improving your site to benefit all your users!