After enduring more than a year of criticism, Facebook is making major changes to the way it enforces its real name policy. Facebook users will notice a new system for reporting fake names along with a new system for responding to those reports. The system now includes specific support channels for LGBTQ issues, non-Western names, and instances of stalking or abuse. The new system will deploy in the US immediately, expanding internationally depending on feedback from the US rollout.
Facebook is quick to note that the new system doesn’t reflect a change in the real name policy itself, and users will still be required to use the same name on Facebook that they use in real life. Still, Facebook is betting that the new process will address many of the concerns and open the door to more improvements in the future.
The real name policy has also presented problems in cases of stalking and abuse, although those instances have received less press coverage. Targets of sustained abuse sometimes avoid using their legal names for privacy reasons, but until now there’s been little guidance for how to square that practice with Facebook’s policy. In the worst cases, the old system could lead to inadvertent doxxing if a user sent in a driver’s license only to have their account automatically switched to their legal name. Read more via Verge