Menu
Activists push Facebook to abandon its real-names policy

Activists push Facebook to abandon its real-names policy

A broad coalition is meeting with the company Wednesday

Activists are meeting with Facebook officials Wednesday, challenging the company's real-names policy and other rules they say violate free-speech rights, sense of identity and safety.

The Transgender Law Center, a San Francisco-based civil rights group, will deliver a letter to Facebook outlining demands. The letter was cosigned by dozens of other groups, including the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU of Northern California, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit privacy rights group. They are representing transgender, lesbian, gay and bisexual people as well as immigrants and domestic abuse victims, among others.

Roughly a dozen people from the coalition are meeting with Chris Cox, chief of staff to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on products, and other Facebook representatives at company headquarters in California, said Mark Snyder, senior manager of communications at the Transgender Law Center, prior to the meeting.

The groups take issue with Facebook's policies requiring people to use their legal names on the site, as well as its requirements for verifying names through government-issued photo IDs.

The policy is unfair, raises free-speech concerns, and causes problems for people who may need to identify themselves in a different way, the groups say. "Many people need to use a chosen name in order to feel safe or to be able to express their authentic identity online," the letter says.

Facebook last month held a meeting with drag queens and others from the Transgender Law Center who protested the site's real-names policy after Facebook deleted and then restored some profiles.

But this week's meeting brings a broader group of parties to the table, giving further weight to their demands.

Since last month's meeting, a number of other people besides drag queens have voiced their concerns about how Facebook's real-names policy negatively affects them, Snyder said. Transgender people, for instance, are often unable to legally change their names, and Facebook's policies require them to show identification that may not accurately reflect their gender identity, the group's letter says.

Or, domestic violence survivors may need to use a different name as a layer of safety or for peace of mind. Immigrants may also have trouble producing identification.

The groups are asking Facebook to publicly commit to changing its policy to ensure people can be their "authentic selves online." The groups also want Facebook to end the requirement for people to show forms of identification, and for Facebook to establish clear and easy procedures for users to appeal account suspension.

Snyder said he was hopeful Facebook would change its policies.

Facebook, for its part, says it requires people to provide their real names so people know with whom they're connecting. "This helps keep our community safe," the company says in its policy.

The meeting was to start at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. A Facebook representative said the company would comment after the meeting.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and serviceslegalsocial networkingsocial mediainternetFacebook

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments