Facebook is making a big change to a controversial policy

October 30, 2015, 9:41 PM UTC
Photograph by Ted Aljibe — AFP/Getty Images

Facebook announced Friday that it’s making changes to the process required for users to verify their names. It’s aimed at those kicked off the site because of the policy.

The company is making changes to its “real name” policy so that users can go by a different name than their given one. It’s also making it more difficult for others to flag a person’s name as fake.

The letter and changes come after the policy has come under fire in recent days by users.

Facebook is ultimately keeping its policy against pseudonyms with the change, according to Consumerist. But it is making it easier for users to regain access to their accounts and provide more context to the name they use to prevent the problem from occurring in the future.

“We want 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,” according to Facebook VP of Growth Alex Schultz in a letter obtained by Buzzfeed News. “We want to make it easier for people to confirm their name if necessary.”

Adding context and more details “should help our Community Operations team better understand the situation,” Schultz added. “It will also help us better understand the reasons why people can’t currently confirm their name, informing potential changes we make in the future.”

The changes are expected in December.

Schultz said in the letter that Facebook isn’t allowing people to completely use different names. “When people use the name others know them by, they are more accountable for what they say, making it more difficult to hide behind an anonymous name to harass, bully, spam or scam someone else,” he wrote.

You can read the full letter here.


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