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Facebook Eases Up on its Real-Name Policy Amidst Criticism

Facebook’s infamous real-name policy — which requires everyone to use either a real name, or a name they’re known by — is now going to be more efficiently enforced.

A new set of tools have been released that are designed to accomplish two primary goals: reduce the amount of people asked to verify their name, and make it easier for people to verify their name if required.

Easing Up on the Real-Name Policy

If someone is asked to verify their name, they will now be able to provide more detailed information about why they wish to go by that name.

For example, some may wish to go by an alias because they’re victims of stalking or cyberbullying. Others may have come to be recognized by a name other than their own.

Regardless of what a person’s circumstance might be, they will be able to explain themselves to the Facebook team, who will then review the information.

There has been much criticism over Facebook’s real name policy, particularly from the transgender community and victims of domestic violence. It’s possible that these tools have been developed in response to the criticism.

Changes Made to Reporting “Fake Names”

In addition, there have been enhancements made when it comes to reporting “fake names” to Facebook. The new process will require the reporting user to type out an explanation as to why they are reporting that particular name. Previously, the process allowed people to report another person’s name without giving a reason.

If a person’s “real name” is not accepted by Facebook, the company will now give a seven day grace period for the individual to provide the necessary documents to verify their ID. With the old policy, Facebook would immediately suspend the individual.

Early next year, the company says it will be looking into ways to reduce the volume of people being asked to verify their real name.

A limited test of these features is being rolled out in the US across mobile and desktop. After gathering feedback and making revisions, the tools will be rolled out worldwide.

Image Credit: Ttatty /

Category News
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Facebook Eases Up on its Real-Name Policy Amidst Criticism

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