Facebook changed directions on its “real names” policy yesterday in response to continued and blistering criticism from drag queens and the threat of mass defections to Ello and other services.
Think Progress reports:
Facebook officially apologized Wednesday for enforcing its “real name” policy for users against drag queens and other members of the LGBT community. Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, acknowledged that the policy has been a “painful” experience for the many individuals whose profiles were suspended and promised to do better. “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 wrote. He explained that an individual user had reported several hundred accounts as fake, and they didn’t notice the pattern of how drag queens and other LGBT people might have been targeted for their identities rather than because they were trying to impersonate, bully, or troll others — as is the case for most fake accounts Facebook suspends.
“an individual user had reported several hundred accounts as fake” — and that, in a nutshell, is the problem with Facebook. Someone can lodge a complaint against you, and you often end up suspended or worse without any recourse, unless you can mount a mass media campaign in your own defense. FB is notoriously terrible at dealing with user issues – ever tried to get help from a FB employee? Which is as much a function of FB’s sheer size and limited staff as anything else. Maybe they should put a few more of their billions of dollars they earn from our information into customer service.
And BTW, has this individual who targeted drag queens been suspended from using Facebook?