MENLO PARK (CBS SF) – Facebook is apparently changing its tune on a policy requiring users to register by their “real name,” and could apologize to members drag queens and others offended by the new regulations as early as Wednesday.
In early September, performers and personalities – including San Francisco’s ‘Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’ – were locked out of their Facebook accounts because their real names did not match those on their online profile.
“They’re forcing you to log out and then log in and then change your name as it appears on your ID,” said Sister Roma.
A letter that was scheduled to be delivered in person to “Facebook decision makers” on Wednesday morning by the Transgender Law Center and other LGBT advocates said,
“Facebook’s requirement that users provide a form of identification to prove their “real names” is unfair and disproportionately impacts our already vulnerable communities. This policy lends itself to abuse; some people are using this tool to target and harass our communities with the intent of erasing our identities.”
The letter urged Facebook to changing the real name policy and end the requirement for people to show forms of identification, while establishing easy procedures for people to appeal suspensions of their accounts.
ValleyWag reports that social network executives will meet with LGBT activists and San Francisco Supervisor David Campos Wednesday to lay out changes to the policy before making a public apology. The same group met with Facebook management last month to air their concerns. At that time the company agreed to restore suspended profiles for two weeks, a window that is set to expire this week.
Facebook has previously said the real name requirement is important, saying it protects users and makes the social network safer. The drag queens told The Associated Press that requiring them and others to disclose their real names is unfair and could put jobs, relationships and health at risk.