Facebook users are protesting against the social networking website’s “real name” policy, which requires users to use their real name on their account. Several complaints have been made over the past few months regarding this policy,.
In particular, the policy has caused a stir with the website’s drag queens, transgender users and domestic violence victims who wish to avoid using their real name on their account. Users have formed a coalition, labelled #MyNameIs, in order to get the policy changed, and the website’s drag queens are protesting outside Facebook’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.
Some members of #MyNameIs have said that they are being targeted by bullies. Sister Roma, a member of the group, accused Facebook of siding with bullies. The site currently allows users to report users who they believe are using a false name.
Facebook’s naming policy has been discussed several times with the website’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, who issued an apology after the site received several emails from drag queens last year stating that they wished to use their real names on their profile. However, the policy has not yet been changed, which has led to the group taking action.
The main issue is that Facebook does not allow “anonymous” users on its site. Speaking about the policy, the company said in a statement: “Having people use their authentic names makes them more accountable, and also helps us root out accounts created for malicious purposes, like harassment, fraud, impersonation and hate speech.”
Sister Roma says that the website is no longer “cool” and that it’s time that the policy was changed.
“Facebook is no longer a cool website started by a bunch of guys who want to chat to each other and see chicks, and see who they are talking to,” she said. “It’s changed – and it’s time for Facebook’s policies and original ideas to change, because users’ identities are as fluid as users themselves today.”
In addition to getting the real name policy changed, the group will also be calling for Facebook to remove the option that allows users to report people who are using a fake name on their profile.