After receiving a large number of critics due to their “real name” policy, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) announced that they will soften the rule to make it easier for users. These improvements will be tested on December.
Alex Schultz, Facebook’s vice president of growth, recognized in a letter obtained by BuzzFeed that the current policy from the company doesn’t work for everyone, as lots of users have complained about the difficult process to verify their identity.
Nevertheless, Facebook is not backing up in this subject, as they sustain that “When people use the name others know them by, they are more accountable for what they say, making it more difficult to hide behind an anonymous name to harass, bully, spam or scam someone else,” according to BuzzFeed.
Mostly, members of the LGBTQ community, as well as Native Americans, say that current policies are unfair and that many of them could face real danger if they use their real names on the social network.
Complaints about the subject have been on the table for a while now, as it has been more than a year since Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, had to apologize to the LGBTQ community for the harsh process that the company made them go through with their accounts, according to VentureBeat.
More information needed
Schultz said that people that is required to confirm their identity will have the possibility to explain details about context and situation, something that users weren’t allowed to do previously.
“This should help our Community Operations team better understand the situation. It will also help us better understand the reasons why people can’t currently confirm their name, informing potential changes we make in the future,” the letter says.
Another improvement that Facebook will add is that users reporting others as fake are going to be asked to provide more information about the reasons to report the profile. This will aim to reduce the amount of denounces used as a personal attack for other reasons.
Facebook against everyone
U.S. organizations such as the Electronics Frontier Foundation (EFF), the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Facebook, urging them to fix the policy earlier this month. They say that the social network should provide users equal treatment and protection, as it works as a platform for communication and expression.
These organizations defend the use of pseudonyms for protection, and also they stand up for those people whose name doesn’t fit the standards of “real names” provided by Facebook. Nevertheless, Schultz responded to this accusation saying that Facebook doesn’t ask for legal names, they just ask for the name that people know them by.