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#MyNameIs Movement Protests Facebook "Real Name" Policy


The #MyNameIs protest took place on Monday at 9am out the front of Facebook Campus Headquarters in Menlo Park. Over 1300 demonstrators were expected to protest to change Facebook’s ‘real name’ policy, lead by Drag queen Roma. 

A legal name is required to have a Facebook account. Although thousands of Facebook users believe they are being “maliciously targeted” after having their accounts suspended for having a fake name. 

Members of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities prefer to use names that reflect their personalities and protect their real identitiesThey believed Facebook needs to ease up on the definition of an "authentic" name, allowing greater privacy and more freedom of expression. 

Having a fake name option is obsolete and that the option “punishes identity, not behaviour” reads a petition signed by many supporters. “People are authentically behaving and taking responsibility for their profiles and their persona.” And they, the protesters, believe that the fake name issue does not create anonymity.

In 2014, a requirement that Facebook’s users must use their legal names created much tension following the policy. It quickly escalated in late 2014 and resulted in Chris Cox, Facebook chief product officer, apologizing to the LGBT community via a post on Facebook, along with a promise of change. Nine months later and unfortunately, no new guidelines have emerged

Roma started the #MyNameIs movement on Twitter when her Facebook account was suspended in September last year. 

"We've also had police, prison workers and mental health professionals, all who need to keep their public and private lives very separate, get involved," said Roma. Other demonstrators consist of Native Americans, domestic violence survivors and activists.


An “Anti-Facebook’ social network group called Ello launched in September, 2014 with the aim of attracting unhappy Facebook users. Ello promotes it's ad-free site with no complex algorithm or data tracking and brags about it's freedom to use whichever name members choose.

Initially invite only, now available to everyone, Ello had recorded enrollment at 38,000 per hour. Now privately owned by advertisers, the social network company claims to have “millions” of users.

In a press release announcing Ello's support of the protest, Paul Budnitz, CEO and co-founder of Ello stated “Because Ello will never have ads or sell user data, you can safely be whoever you want. On Ello we celebrate the LGTBQ community's right to live their digital lives with freedom and dignity.”

Facebook continues to face backlash from the LGBT and other communities. Drag Queen Roma, refused to use her real name. She said "People realized it (Facebook) was a tool to maliciously target and bully people they didn't like. It started with drag queens and then spread to hit gay and lesbian activists and others."

Unfortunately, I can't see Facebook backing down on its strict stance on "real name" policy. 

Jessica Smith 

Australian girl, Jessica is loving England but is missing the sunshine! She loves writing, dogs and plays hockey! Follow her @JessicaAtSMF

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#MyNameIs Movement Protests Facebook "Real Name" Policy Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, June 03, 2015 Rating: 5

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