Speed Reads

Facebook faux pas

Facebook apologizes for suspending drag queens' profiles

Facebook has clarified its "real-name policy" after facing backlash from LGBT Facebook users, who argued that the company allegedly forced people to use their "legal names" on their profiles, causing many drag queens' accounts to be suspended.

After meeting with LGBT activists on Wednesday, Facebook's chief product officer, Chris Cox, clarified the company's policy. "Our policy has never been to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name," Cox stated. "The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life." Those "authentic names" could include the names members of the LGBT community use in day-to-day life, even if they're not the same names on their birth certificates.

Cox added that users' profiles were suspended when "several hundred accounts" were reported as fake. Facebook's policy in this case is to "suspend the profile until the user submits some form of identification that matches the name on the page," Time reports. At the meeting with activists, Facebook reportedly promised a "technical fix" to improve the name policy. "We're taking measures to provide much more deliberate customer service to those accounts that get flagged so that we can manage these in a less abrupt and more thoughtful way," Cox said in the statement.

David Campos, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and one of those who met with Facebook employees on Wednesday, told Time that the meeting was "extremely productive," and the activists were pleased with the meeting's results. "Drag queens spoke and Facebook listened," Campos said. "Both sides actually agreed on the idea that the objective was for people to use their real name, and that doesn't always mean legal identity."