Facebook Sparks Controversy and Protest

Sherrill Fulghum By Sherrill Fulghum, 22nd Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/jwsci3j2/
Posted in Wikinut>Celebrities>Scandals

Facebook's policy enforcement endangers users. Thousands find accounts suspended and deleted.

Facebook Endangers Users

In what is decidedly a discriminatory move, Facebook has launched a campaign to force Drag Queens and transgender people to change their Facebook profiles and use their given birth names. People who do not make the changes will have their Facebook accounts deleted. The move contradicts a recent Facebook change that added more choices to the male/female gender list.

What makes the mandate discriminatory is that the same mandate has not been issued to artists, bands, actors, and other entertainers who go by stage names. There has been no ruling demanding that Martin Sheen, 2 Chainz, or B.o.B. to change their profiles to their “real” names. Apparently Lady Gaga has compromised and uses both of her names Lady Gaga and her birth name of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

In response to the mandate, a petition has been started at Change.org to allow the Queens to keep their Drag names and profiles in tact. The originator of the petition Olivia LaGarce said, “by preventing us from accessing our accounts under our chosen names, this hinders our ability to make a living and develop our performance careers;” adding that by trying to build an “authentic” community Facebook is undermining the online community that the performers have built.

In their zeal to purge the site of “fake names”, Facebook has also eliminated some users accounts that were using their given names.

LaGarce goes on to say that the move jeopardizes the performers and opens them to harassment. "Facebook claims that the restriction on using 'real' names 'helps keep our community safe' but in fact this restriction enables our communities to be attacked and degraded, both online and off." Sister Roma goes on to point out that Drag Queens aren't the only people in danger if Facebook succeeds in forcing people to change their profile names; saying, “this issue is way bigger than a bunch of drag queens complaining because we can't use our stage names. This policy is discriminatory and potentially dangerous to a variety of Facebook users, including abused and battered women, bullied teens, political activists, sex workers, and especially members of the transgender community; all examples of people who use pseudonyms to ensure their safety and privacy."

Drag Queens have promised to launch a protest at Facebook's headquarters if the social networking giant does not change their “real name” policy. Standing in front of San Francisco's City Hall, Supervisor David Campos said, “this policy is wrong and misguided.”

Facebook spokesman Andrew Souvall has confirmed that even after meeting with some of the Drag Queens; Facebook is “sticking to their guns” and is requiring everyone who uses the service to do so with their “real names”.

To date the only option Facebook is giving the performers is the choice of converting the profile to a fan page. According to Facebook, the “real name” policy, “helps prevent bad behavior, while creating a safer and more accountable environment.” The company goes on to say, “the company says performers and others have other ways of keeping their stage identities on the site, including creating pages that are meant for businesses and public figures.” Rosa Sifuentes points out that a fan page is limiting and does not allow the performers to reach their fans to let them know about gigs and so forth.

Facebook uses the names of its users to target advertisements to users; according to the company Facebook has 1.32 billion users worldwide. While many Facebook users have hundreds and even thousands of fans, only a small percentage of the messages posted actually reach “friends”; but Facebook offers a paid service – at $30 month – to “ensure better responses with posts”.

According to Facebook last year six to eleven percent of accounts were duplicates or fakes. Facebook claims that they do not “investigate” a page unless a complaint has been filed.

Facebook has temporarily restored the deleted accounts to give users an “opportunity” to change the name or convert the profile to a fan page. Failure to do so in the given two week period will result in another deletion of the account.


Drag Queens, Facebook, Facebook Demands Name Change, Facebook Name Policy, Facebook Policy, Sister Roma

Meet the author

author avatar Sherrill Fulghum
Sherrill is an award winning journalist with a speciality in music and entertainment. She is also a photographer.

Sherril is a writer for thedailyvoice news.com

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
22nd Sep 2014 (#)

Yep many are disappearing this way. I have certified my account and public profile giving them photo identification with signature... Prove your identity and control chatting as many try lewd chats in order to spam you. Had that on my main name but its all sorted now, I direct all to my public profile...

New trend - people hacking in through accounts left dormant for a while and trying to talk and create a new identity in name.... Seen this...

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
22nd Sep 2014 (#)

Sometimes genuine accounts are affected as happens everywhere including with financial institutions heaping rules upon rules on the majority who want just a basic account - siva

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