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Drag Queens Argue With Facebook Over Real Name Rule

Facebook want everyone to use their legal names

Anne Parsons
Drag Queens Argue With Facebook Over Real Name Rule© 2018 Laurence Barnes

Facebook’s new policy of insisting that users' accounts are registered with their legal names, has caused upset amongst some drag and transgender performers. The performers have called upon Facebook to allow for stage names, which are integral to their identity, the group said.

The group, headed by Seattle-based performer Olivia La Garce, has set up a petition on Change.org to bring attention to the issue. On the website La Garce has outlined the reasons why they want Facebook to revert back to the way it was.

“According to Facebook, this is to help build "authentic" community, but in fact it undermines the online communities we have built over the past several years using our stage names. Our chosen names are an important part of our identities and how we interact with our peers and audiences.

Image: Change.org

"Although our names might not be our "legal" birth names, they are still an integral part of our identities, both personally and to our communities.

"Additionally, many Facebook users - performers or otherwise - use names that are not their "legal names" to help protect their privacy and anonymity, with good reason. Victims of abuse, trans people, queer people who are not able to be safely "out," and performers alike need to be able to socialize, connect, and build communities on social media safely."

The petition has attracted almost 3,000 signatures so far.

Image: BBC

The BBC reported that Facebook has changed its name policy to “to protect the community and increase accountability.” So far, their stance has not wavered, and they suggest other routes around the ‘real’ name policy.

"If people want to use an alternative name on Facebook, they have several different options available to them, including providing an alias under their name on their profile, or creating a Page specifically for that alternative persona.

"As part of our overall standards, we ask that people who use Facebook provide their real name on their profile."

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