It’s true that most people use their real names on Facebook, but every now and then you’ll have someone who wants to use the social network, but doesn’t want to use their real name for a variety of reasons. This morning, Facebook announced that it plants to test alterations to its controversial real name policy.
The change would let users explain their name choices to Facebook Community Operations team and would also require more explanation from users who flag and report others for not using a real name, which makes it harder for the process to be used as a tactic to silence or harass.
Alex Schultz, Facebook’s vice president of growth, explained the changes in a letter today after the company received an organized complaint from members of the LGBT community, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and other activist and advocacy groups who say the real name policy is still overly simplified and technically flawed.
“We want to reduce the number of people who are asked to verify their name on Facebook”
“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,” Schultz wrote. “We want to make it easier for people to confirm their name if necessary.”
“When people use the name others know them by, they are more accountable for what they say, making it more difficult to hide behind an anonymous name to harass, bully, spam or scam someone else,” Schultz continued.
Facebook has been making changes to the controversial real name policy since it first started causing problems last year as people were being mistakenly kicked off the social network, many of whom were removed for having different beliefs. Back in June, Facebook stopped the process that required legal documentation to have a particular name on the social network.