FB friendlier to adopted names

San Francisco, December 16

Facebook (FB) on Tuesday modified a ‘real names’ policy once protested by drag queen performers, the gay community, abuse victims and others.

New tools being tested in US were designed to reduce number of people asked to verify their names at Facebook and make it easier for them to do so when needed.

But, FB made clear that it is not backing off from its policy that people should use names that friends and family know them by, and not those intended to hide who they really are.

“When people use the names they are known by, their actions and words carry more weight because they are more accountable for what they say,” said an online post by Product Manager Todd Gage and Vice President of Global Operations Justin Osofsky.

“It also makes it harder for bullies to anonymously smear the reputations of others, or anyone else to use an anonymous name to harass, scam or engage in criminal behaviour.”

Drag queens who got word late last year that their accounts using stage names were at risk sparked a high-profile protest joined by activists, domestic violence victims and others who want to avoid having real names on social network profiles.

The list of people understandably interested in using assumed names at FB goes far beyond drag queens to judges, social workers, teachers, entertainers, abuse victims and others.

In the past, people could get an account suspended by simply tagging a name as fake at the social network.