World’s largest social network, Facebook has said it is relaxing its ‘real name policy’ to allow people with unfamiliar names to use the platform, allowing them to more easily use the name people know them by.
Facebook requires users to go by their legal or authentic names, which it says makes people accountable for their actions and roots out bullying.
However, it has been criticised by advocacy groups, as the policy has seen many accounts suspended because members went by a different name or just because they have been reported by online trolls such as the woman named Isis and Lord Toby Jug.
In response to criticism, Facebook via a post by its vice president of global operations, Justin Osofsky, said that the company wants to reduce the number of people who are asked to verify their name on Facebook when they are already using the name people know them by and also allow users to explain why they are using a certain name on Facebook.
The post read: “We’re firmly committed to [the] policy, and it is not changing.
“However, after hearing feedback from our community, we recognise that it’s also important that this policy works for everyone, especially for communities who are marginalized or face discrimination. That’s why we’re continuing to make improvements in this area.
“When people use the names they are known by, their actions and words carry more weight because they are more accountable for what they say.
“It also makes it harder for bullies to anonymously smear the reputations of others, or anyone else to use an anonymous name to harass, scam or engage in criminal behavior.
“We’re also testing a new tool that will let people provide more information about their circumstances if they are asked to verify their name.
“People can let us know they have a special circumstance, and then give us more information about their unique situation.”
The new tools will first be tested in the US, Facebook said, but will make them more widely available as they’re refined.