Facebook Improves Its 'Real-Name Policy' Amid Protests

Dec 16, 2015 08:00 AM EST | By Maria Leonila Masculino

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Amid criticisms, Facebook is "firmly committed" to its "real-name policy," the social media giant announced in a statement.

TIME reports Facebook released a statement on Tuesday, defending the rule it imposed demanding its users to show their real identity on their accounts.

"We require people to use the name their friends and family know them by. 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," the website explains. "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."

This announcement came after LGBT rights advocates and domestic violence survivors claimed that the "real-name policy" goes against their identities and puts them at risk for further harm.

Some people from these groups even had their accounts banned by the website for using names other than their legal name. The social network explained, however, that they are conducting necessary improvements to accommodate their "special" needs.

"We recognize that it's also important that this policy works for everyone, especially for communities who are marginalized or face discrimination," the website admitted.

"We want to make it easier for people to confirm their name if necessary. These tools have been built based on many conversations with community leaders and safety organizations around the world," it added. "People can let us know they have a special circumstance, and then give us more information about their unique situation."

Aside from these tools, the website will also reduce the number of people needed to be verified "while preserving the safety of other people on the site."

"We want to create the best experience that we can for everyone," the social media site guaranteed its users. "We will continue to make improvements until everyone can use the name that their friends and family know them by."

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