Facebook tweaks its contentious ‘real name’ policy

New York, Oct 31 (IANS) Facebook has said it is modifying its “real name” policy after this came under criticism from several activist groups.

The company’s “real name” policy requires users go by their authentic name when on the social network rather than a pseudonym.

Certain communities such as LGBT and Native Americans were uncomfortable with the policy as they feared trolling and harassment.

The announcement came Friday in response to an open letter penned by advocacy groups including the EFF and ACLU, Engadget reported.

The company has announced two primary changes. First, the site will now allow users to provide additional context and explanation for using the name they do when confirming their accounts.

“This should help our Community Operations team better understand the situation,” Alex Schultz, vice president (Growth), said in the announcement.

“It will also help us better understand the reasons why people can not currently confirm their name, informing potential changes we make in the future,” he aadded.

Second, Facebook will also require users that flag others for employing alternate names to provide additional detail and information in their complaint.

This has been done to dissuade people from frivolously flagging profiles, which locks the targeted user out of their profile until they can confirm they are who they say they are.

Facebook will also change both the name confirmation process, no longer requiring government-issued IDs. The changes would come into effect in December.

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