PETITION FACEBOOK STOP REQUIRING FOR REAL NAMES
This petition had 13 supporters
I, among hundreds of others, have been forced to change my name to something Facebook has arbitrarily deemed to be more appropriate and many of us have had to send in copies of a government issued ID.
Facebook has been hunting down and locking out any of it's users who "appear not to be using their real name."
This is not just inconvenient it is also incredibly problematic and very dangerous.
Facebook is not a government agency, it is not the DMV, it does not require a credit score or a background check. Facebook is a social media network and there is NO actual rationale or justification for its users' names and identities to be policed.
Many people are being affected by this: entertainers, authors, bloggers, screenwriters, DJ's, nightlife promoters and performers and anyone else using a professional pseudonym.
However, many have been forced to leave Facebook altogether since being forced to use their legal name has made it no longer safe for them.
:: Quite a few users have left since their legal name appearing on their profile will allow them to be serchable to their employer and others, risking their livelihoods.
::Members of the LGBTQ and specifically trans communities are being forced to use names which do not match their gender or their identity (Ironically enough, it was just last year that Facebook made available gender neutral pronouns as well a myriad of 60+ gender identities. Why can I have "they/them/their" pronouns and identify as non-binary but not use my chosen name?).
::Survivors of rape, assault, domestic abuse, stalking and other offenses and violations will now be easily searchable to their abusers.
Facebook: there are countless reasons to use an alias on a social media network, but none of them are the network's business. Take it from Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Pinterest and Google + (who had to learn the hard way) this is not a battle worth fighting.
When I can buy a house, rent a car or take out a loan using my Facebook account I will understand the need for this. But until then this must be stopped.
Facebook has begun vigorous enforcement of its “name policy,” requiring all users of the social network to provide their real names—those “listed on your credit card, driver’s license or student ID.” The policy is not new—Facebook has long asked for users’ “real names” at registration—but it has come under new fire after Facebook disabled the profile of San Francisco LGBT activist and drag queen Sister Roma last week, forcing her to post under her legal name “Michael Williams.”
The social media outrage was almost immediate. An online petition on Change.org demanding Facebook change its policy has already garnered18,300 signatures. Today, Facebook representatives met with members of the drag and LGBT communities in San Francisco. Regardless of the outcome of today’s meeting at Facebook HQ, (I’m pessimistic considering the protesters only got to meet with Facebook’s “PR and Pride” teams), these people’s lives have already been impacted by Facebook’s enforcement policy.
I should know. I haven’t been able to use my personal profile on Facebook since Aug. 27 when it was shut down.
Much like Sister Roma, Facebook told me that their “systems indicated that [my] account may not be authentic based on a variety of factors” and I was blocked from Facebook on Aug. 26; I would have to submit a “scanned image or digital picture” of a “government-issued ID” (pursuant to their updated ID policy) to the Facebook Help and Support Center in order to regain access. After changing the name on my profile to match the name on my ID, a representative for Facebook twice referred me to the name policy about “titles of any kind,” implying that “Yitz”—my Hebrew name, which I have used since conversion to Judaism nearly 15 years ago—was a “religious title.” After sending in two additional pieces of supplementary ID reflecting my new name (the one on all of my IDs), I was warned that Facebook’s Support Center would simply “not respond” to me any longer. (Update: To clarify, my profile was re-enabled with my birth name after sending Facebook my personal identification information. However, given that I have used my Hebrew name for over a decade, I could no longer interact on Facebook with a community who didn’t recognize me. I took down my profile photo as a result.)
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