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Facebook Apologizes for Real Name Policy After Drag Queen, Transgender Backlash

The social media company sees ”room for improvement“ in ”understanding who’s real and who’s not“

Members of Facebook who wish to use chosen names on their profiles may soon be able to do so following a meeting on Wednesday.

“We had a very productive meeting with Facebook today in which they apologized for the way this situation has been handled,” a representative from the Transgender Law Center told TheWrap in a statement. “They committed to making changes to the way they enforce their ‘real names’ policy to ensure that folks who need to use chosen names that reflect their authentic selves online are able to do so.”

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Facebook had previously deleted several accounts belonging to individuals who weren’t using their legal names, many of whom are drag performers and members of the LGBT community.

“What was made clear today is that Facebook is ready to collaborate with our communities and shares our value of making sure everyone is able to safely be their authentic self online,” the representative said.

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While the policy has still not been changed, Facebook is considering changing how they enforce it.

“Our policy has never been to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name,” Facebook’s Vice President of Product Chris Cox said in an online statement. “The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life.”

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“We see through this event that there’s lots of room for improvement in the reporting and enforcement mechanisms, tools for understanding who’s real and who’s not, and the customer service for anyone who’s affected,” Cox continued. “To everyone affected by this, thank you for working through this with us and helping us to improve the safety and authenticity of the Facebook experience for everyone.”