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Facebook Argentina Implements Gender Friendly Options

LGBTQ  Social Activism On social Media

Last week marked another major victory for those campaigning for LGBTQ equality rights in Argentina. For a nation with a devout and active Catholic sector, the South American country is one of the most acclaimed for its regional leadership in promoting civil rights, and has taken to the social media arena to continue to change conservative perceptions of gender.

A programming engineer at Facebook Argentina said that: “There will be many people for whom this will mean nothing but for the few who care, it makes perfect sense”. The move shows a sensitivity and understanding of the LGBTQ cause, as for many people who identify themselves as transgender the thought of Facebook declaring that so and so posted to ‘his’ profile or ‘her’ wall may seem somewhat restrictive and doctrinaire.

Facebook has until now stuck with these binary definitions, but in conjunction with La Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA), the social network has begun to enable local users to identify with terms such as feminine or masculine, androgynous or neutral. The function was premiered in the US back in February, and Argentina is the second country to adopt the tool, paving the way for similar action to take place throughout Latin America.

The CHA advised Facebook on the correct choice of terminology, which includes a vast range of options for users to pick from, including trans (feminine) or trans (masculine), androgynous, asexual or pansexual, amongst a choice of 54 personalised gender options – a far wider range than those available in the US.

Members of the pro-trans movement, both in Argentina and around the world, welcome these Facebook changes (a rarity for the company these days!) as helping to fight the ongoing cultural imperialism that continues to pervade personal identity and government policy, particularly in places with strong religious traditions such as Latin America.

Cesar Cigliutti, president of CHA, said: "That Facebook has chosen Argentina to present the custom gender is a recognition of the relevance of our country in the conquest of our community rights". It is a progressive and inclusive move by the world’s biggest social network and most influential company, and one which other big companies (who shape our social interactions) would do well to take on board.

Katie Rowley 

Recent graduate and now interning as content editor, when she's not writing articles Katie can quite likely be found festival-ing, holiday-ing or reading a book (dedicated English student that she is). Follow her @KatieAtSMF.

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Facebook Argentina Implements Gender Friendly Options Reviewed by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Rating: 5
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