After over a year of controversy, advocacy, and unsatisfactory efforts to address concerns with its “real name” policy, Facebook has announced a new process for reporting “fake” names and tool for verifying your name if it has been reported.
Under its new protocol, people must provide details about why they are reporting a name, instead of simply marking it as a fake name. Additionally, when someone’s name is questioned, they will have the opportunity to provide context about the name they use on the platform. While not a complete solution, this policy is an important step toward improving the process.
Transgender Law Center and several organizations and advocates held a series of meetings with Facebook last fall about the dangerous policy, which singles out transgender people, domestic violence survivors, Native Americans, and many others whose names might be questioned by other users on Facebook. While progress has been slow, we are encouraged that Facebook is taking this step to begin to address community concerns.