Facebook’s reply to open letter on ‘real name’ policy

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Facebook is tweaking its ‘real name’ policy. The policy, which has been termed ‘inherently discriminatory’ by some, will see some alterations to allow users to explain their name choices. The policy has received criticism mostly from members of the LGBT communities and advocates who face problems and feel uncomfortable using their real names due to the nature of their work.

According to Facebook’s ‘real name’ policy, users should go by their ‘authentic name’ when on the social network rather than a pseudonyms. These changes will help people who face this problem provide clearer context to their wishes to keep a different name. Facebook is expected to roll out the policy in December.

Explaining the changes and the reason behind the policy, Alex Schultz, VP, growth Facebook, said in a letter, “We want to reduce the number of people who are asked to verify their name on Facebook, when they are already using the name people know them by. We want to make it easier for people to confirm their name if necessary,” added Schultz in reply to the open letter sent to Facebook by a number of groups — including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch, and ACLU of California.

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