It looks like Facebook is working on adjusting the enforcement of its Real Name policy. the company also apologized to the LGBT community in general, and drag queen performance artists in particular, on how the rule had been enforced. Such rules were too restrictive and locked performers out of their legitimate accounts.
Facebook’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox said in a Facebook post:
I want to apologize to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbors, and members of the LGBT community for the hardship that we’ve put you through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks.
Cox says that Facebook is currently “building better tools for authenticating the Sister Romas of the world while not opening up Facebook to bad actors.” Those “bad actors” are people that hide behind fake names to bully or stalk other users.
Valleywag reported earlier that Facebook would be amending or adjusting its policy on using real names on Facebook.
The SFist broke the story that drag queens and other performers were being locked out of their accounts because they were using stage names on the social network. Facebook says that making everyone use their real name keeps the community safe.
Unfortunately, if you’re known by a stage name (for example, Madonna or Lorde), your real name has very little value for fans looking to connect with you on the network. There’s also the quasi-anonymity that comes from using a stage name on the site. If your family or employer is unaware of your drag queen persona, having to use your real name could have disastrous consequences.
Plus, there’s the issue of anyone that’s been stalked or currently has a stalker. The last thing you want is your real name on a social network.
Today’s announcement should be welcome news to performers and anyone that’s used a name different from their “real name” on Facebook.