Facebook modifies ‘real name’ policy to further curb online harassment

Facebook will add new tools that improve how users confirm their names
By on
Facebook logo
Investigating Facebook Reuters

Following backlash from LGBT activists, Facebook decided to make modifications to its “real name” policy to further curb online bullying against vulnerable groups.

Facebook's "real name" policy requires users to use the names that friends and family know them by. The company said its strict enforcement of this policy has helped minimise online bullying and made users more accountable.

Now, however, users will have to use their “authentic” names instead of pseudonyms. The change came soon after the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote a letter to Facebook, prompting the latter to make changes to its real name policy.

Facebook Vice President Alex Schultz said Facebook will add new tools that improve how users confirm their names on Facebook when signing up. This move will also make it more difficult for trolls to harass individuals. You can read his letter at Scribd here.

Schultz further clarified that Facebook has never demanded legal names from users since it’s a friendly medium where people can choose any name they prefer. Facebook, however, specifies that it’s highly sensitive to cultures and identifies and so will take the necessary measures to fight those that misuse the company’s casual approach to letting people choose any name, said The Indian Express.

With the new changes to the real name policy, Facebook users will now have to furnish more information about why they choose a name for their account. For those that can’t access their accounts owing to real name verification issues, they have to present different forms of non-legal identifications like mail, bank statement, library card and bills.

Chris Cox of Facebook sent his apologies to affected users following outrage from people facing real name issues.

A review hinted that with name authentication, users will now be less targeted by trolls and bullies on Facebook. There will be more transparency in the entire process so that people can use Facebook without any qualms, as reported by The Telegraph.

Contact writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below.