In this high-tech era, where most of the communication is done through social media, your identification plays an important role. In order to prevent fraudulent profile, Facebook, who rules the heart of 1.18 billion active users, on Tuesday, announced a strict change in ‘Real Name’ policy. Through this policy, users are required to give their real name and not a pseudonym.
The step was taken after one of the users was found to be accessing more than one account. Facebook also put forth the fact that they often face difficulty in verification system to locate the users, as their names do not appear in ‘Legal Identification Process’.
Facebook has made the change after consulting with many of the communities and safety organization in the world.
This policy is designed to encourage the accountability of the users. Two changes brought under ‘Real Name’ policy are:
- Verification process.
They issued guidelines that earlier it was easy for Facebook users to label an account as fake (most of them saying that “ this profile doesn’t represent a real person”), but, now due to an improvement in the policy, users need to give at least one reason why they think that the reported person is violating their policy. The reporters need to give more ‘context’ before flagging an account. Also, users will be asked to verify their names, hence providing more information to Facebook. Those under inspection need to answer as to why they are using fake names. Usually, their reasons were of abuse, stalking, identify LGBT, being a member of the ethnic minority. Facebook made this policy to make sure that ‘Real Name’ policy works for everyone especially for the communities who are marginalized or face discrimination.
Facebook employee’s earlier used to verify the name of the users and this process often comes under ‘violation’ of privacy by the users. Last year, a prominent DRAG QUEEN in San Francisco had the account deleted as the access to account was under fake name thus violating the ‘Real Name’ policy.Transgender, drag, and Native American Facebook users are quite dissatisfied by this policy and have asked to drop it. They argued that it has excluded many of the members of their community for ‘unwarranted Scrutiny’, thus preventing them from accessing Facebook. Chris Cox from Facebook has apologized to Transgender and Drag users for the ‘Real Name’ policy and promised to improve the fake name scheme in future. They even changed it’s ‘Real Name’ policy to ‘Authentic Name’ policy.
Although facebook defines itself by saying that the policy requires identification by their legal name but only those name which is common to most of the people. It remains to be seen, what Facebook will improve now to give the transgender and other dissatisfied users their rights.