After Queerty was one of the first to report on Facebook targeting drag performers by forcing them to use their legal names on profiles, the internet exploded.
And for good reason . We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — don’t mess with drag queens.
The social media giant agreed to meet with Sister Roma — who brought the story to the public eye — and SF Supervisor David Campos to discuss the issue. A protest had been planned at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, but after the company reached out for the meeting, the event was called off.
The results were sour. At the time, Roma posted (from her Facebook account she was forced to change to “Michael Williams”): “Facebook refuses to agree that the legal name policy is unfair and discriminatory.”
And so Roma planned another protest, this time at SF City Hall on October 2nd at noon.
Well wouldn’t you know it, Facebook called Roma and Campos down for a second meeting this morning, and this time they appear to have changed their tune. Could it have something to do with a mass gay exodus to alternative social network Ello?
Silicon Valley blog Valleywag reports that their sources have confirmed that Facebook plans to apologize personally to Roma and Campos, and while they won’t reverse the policy in those exact words, they plan to release a statement to the effect of insisting that “real name” meant “preferred name” all along. It’s just been enforced incorrectly this whole time. Of course!
Whatever twisted logic Facebook wants to use to make themselves look good, at least we can all agree that it’s about time this issue gets put to rest.
We’ll keep you updated as the story progresses. No word on whether or not tomorrow’s protest is still a go.
FB has a long history, going back many years, of being crappy to the transgender community. Interesting that the LGB community didn’t get upset until FB started messing with drag performers… :-\
I’m glad that they got something worked out to everyone’s. But the reason, in the first place, for the real-name policy was to prevent people from anonymously bullying and harassing other people which seems extremely important. Taking this as a slight to the drag community might not be productive.
Obviously, I meant “I’m glad that they got something worked out to everyone’s satisfaction.” I guess old people should stay away from computers. 🙂
Good I hope FB don`t pull a fast one this time like the do.
there good at that
… And Ebola is in the United States.
@David: Facebook wants names because their business is data mining. But they can’t say that to people, so they say it’s to protect you. That’s called spin. It’s what PR people do. Don’t fall for it so easily.
Charlie in Charge
@Professor Fate: You should really get on that.
@David: This is the this time that FB has tried to require a “real” name for every member, and every tinme the community has said “No!”. Also, it is not only the drag & trans communities that are upset.
Sister Roma is authentically Sister Roma, and should be allowed to self-identify that way. But if you’re just creating an account with a different name so you can get around the no-anonymity posting policies certain sites have (not this one, I’m happy to say), or because you want to make it less likely your boss will see what you’re up to on the weekend, or similar reasons, Facebook just isn’t for you.
It is and always has been zealously “No secrets, no privacy, no hiding part of yourself allowed” (and yes, Miss Understood, I know they aren’t being altruistic about it) Which is why I never post anything even slightly personal on my account (which for the most part just sits there doing nothing)
I happen to like a bit of mystery; but Facebook has as much right to be “who they are” as Sister Roma or any of us does.
@DuMAurier, “Facebook has as much right to be “who they are” as Sister Roma or any of us does.”
No, they don’t. Facebook is not a person and it is not a government. It doesn’t have the same rights as a person nor the legislative or executive authority of a government, despite what the Supreme Court has been trying to accomplish lately regarding corporate rights. Media companies have been subjected to regulation for many years and cannot in general simply make their own rules.
Don’t like facebook? Deactivate your account. Its no different then any other product of service provided. Stop using it and quit whining. If Mr. Sister Roma was truly offended by facebook this would be a no brainer, but getting weened of likes and attention is hard for some people
I am surprised, I never expected a retraction.
I still don’t understand what the problem was. Entertainers are supposed to make Entertainer pages not personal accounts to promote themselves.
@iggy6666: You’re wrong. Companies need our business. We have the right to tell them what we think. Complaining,
if it reaches a large scale, often works. That’s what this article is about. It worked.
It is not just drag queens but everyone and his cousin who has separate Facebook identities: one for, say, your employer to see, another for your grandmother and other family, another for your out-there friends who may post things shocking to your employer or grandmother, and so on.
Also, for all these “libertarians” arguing that FB can do what they want, real name policies chilling to free speech. For example, someone with unpopular opinions (for example, queer people like us) often cannot attach their real names to their opinions for fear of being fired or physically attacked. Since Facebook is now required for participation in numerous unrelated online communities, FB is becoming a “utility,” like cable service, and will probably soon have to be regulated as such.
Really. Its some guy in clown make-up and a Halloween costume doing a grade b show. It’s not Rosa Parks.
Very quickly this has become as tiresome as the whole “T thing”. Fifteen more minutes of fame, please.
@DCFarmboi, @DickieJohnson, I hope you realize your attitudes are exactly the same as those of many homophobes towards gay people in general. One would think people who grew up gay would understand the Golden Rule better than this.
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