Facebook to Relax "Real Names" Policy - Piranha Digital

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Facebook to Relax “Real Names” Policy

By piranha

4th November 2015

Facebook has announced that it will be changing its “real names” policy, in an attempt to make it easier for users to verify who they are.

If you want to use the social media site at the moment, you are expected to use a real or authentic name when you sign up. Accounts that are found to use false names can be disabled temporarily or even permanently, depending on whether the name is found to be offensive.

Facebook previously claimed that by making the users sign up with names that their friends and family knew them by, they are able to identify bullies and can hold these users accountable.

Since Facebook tightened its “real names” policy, the company has received much criticism from advocacy and civil liberty groups throughout the world.

Transgender individuals who wish to choose a name to match their gender have been affected by this policy. Facebook has also received criticism from the drag community and some Native Americans, whose names are often flagged up as fake.

The company will soon allow users to provide more information about their individual circumstances, which will give Facebook a better understanding of why they are using a different name which will help them to decide whether it fits in with their regulations.

Users that report another account for having a fake name will also be required to provide additional information.  Facebook hopes that this will reduce the number of people falsely flagging up accounts, which has become an increasingly popular method of harassment on the site.

Facebook’s Vice President of Growth, Alex Schultz, said that; “we know the current process does not work for everyone. We are working on several improvements, with two goals in mind: First, we want to reduce the number of people who are asked to verify their name on Facebook, when they are already using the name people know them by. Second, we want to make it easier for people to confirm their name if necessary.”

They will begin testing the changes in December, which will give Facebook a chance to make any necessary improvements. Depending on how well this goes, we could see the updated policy on our screens early next year.

Keep checking the Piranha blog for all of the latest Facebook and technology news!

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