Sister Roma has finally changed her name to Michael Williams. Who knows that name, really? However, in a new Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) policy, sisters, drag queens, and performers are required to use their legal names as spelt out in their driving licenses, birth certificates, credit cards, or student ID cards, lest risk their accounts being terminated.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has said that this is a move meant to make the “community safer.” Nevertheless, the policy isn’t being implemented unchallenged. Many drag queens and performers have kicked-off a petition seeking to reverse the policy, which they say is discriminatory in nature.
“Although our names might not be our ‘legal’ birth names, they are still an integral part of our identities, both personally and to our communities,”
the said petition reads in part.
This policy has also been received negatively by many other Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) users who feel that they should be allowed to choose their own names and not forced to use names that were given to them by their parents against their consent.
“Please let Facebook know that their legal name policy is unfair, hurtful, discriminatory and an invasion of privacy. Tell Facebook that adults should be allowed to choose their own names and identities on their personal profiles,”
read a comment on Sister Roma’s post on the policy.
Another comment read:
“The name I was born with is the name of a victim, a lonely little boy who hated himself. That is NOT who I am.”
Sister Roma is a famous LGBT personality who’s also a member of the controversial Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. In her experience in the recent wave of crack down on nicknames and pseudonyms, she reported to have been automatically logged out of her Facebook account then informed that her account had been suspended because she wasn’t using her legal name.
Many people feel that the move is financially influenced. These people think that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) projects more people switching to use fan pages that will require such users to spend some cash to promote their posts. It’s been repeated on several blogs that on average, a Facebook fan page would only reach 16% of fans. That means that one needs to spend some money to reach more people through their posts.
Facebook has however responded, saying that one can easily use an alias under their names to make it easier for their fans to identify them.
“If people want to use an alternative name on Facebook, they have several different options available to them, including providing an alias under their name on their profile, or creating a Page specifically for that alternative persona,”
a Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider.
There isn’t any court injunction yet compelling Facebook from discontinuing with the implementation of that policy, meaning that the company will continue with the crackdown pending such court orders.
This article has been written by Victor Ochieng.