Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s ‘Real Name’ policy came under scrutiny over the last few weeks. Facebook has suspended accounts of some San Francisco Drag Queens, stating the violation of ‘Real Name’ policy. Meanwhile Facebook responded to the San Francisco Drag queens after a meeting with them and decided to amend its ‘Real Name’ policy. Sister Roma of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence talked to Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson about the talks with Facebook and the issue on Bloomberg TV.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s policy doesn’t allow the users to have Nicknames or alternate names as account name; instead they can be added to the users profile. This policy intended to avoid the usage of fake names for bullying, trolling and other unethical activities via Facebook app. But this policy offended people from LGBT community who wish to stay anonymous for certain valid reasons.
Sister Roma talked about the significance of number 23 in the issue with Facebook’s policy.
“[…] In 23 short days a group of San Francisco Drag Queens brought Facebook to their knees. […] 23 days ago reports started to come in that drag queens are using fake names on their profiles. So our profiles started disappearing. It started in San Francisco, spread up to Seattle, down to LA then all across the country,” Sister Roma said.
She added that they responded by starting a campaign named ‘#MyNameIs’ in order to get the attention of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). She pointed out that they got the attention now from Facebook.
Sister Roma mentioned that Facebook’s intention was to have authentic relationship with users by getting their genuine identity. She added that in their meeting with Facebook executive, Facebook accepted that it would allow them to use chosen names. She feels that making Facebook to change its policy is a victory.
Cory Johnson pointed at quote from Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) regarding the ‘Real Name’ policy some time back.
“You have one identity. [..] Having two identity for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity,” Zuckerberg was quoted as saying.
Sister Roma said that the quote from Zuckerberg was few years old and his views might have changed now. She mentioned that the quote also proves the holes in some Facebook’s policy, which Facebook has to work on to improve.
She added that few days back, if an issue was raised against a profile, it was up to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to decide if the profile should exist or not. But now Facebook has created a process to appeal for the profile and after proper review for profile genuineness, Facebook would restore the profile back.
Sister Roma mentioned that Facebook has huge responsibility to make sure that their platform does not help bullying, trolling or spamming using fake identities. She added that they are working with Facebook in order to make sure that Facebook consider their cases as well when revising these policies.
Sister Roma said that she was known as Roma for the past 27 years and Facebook has realized it now and accepted to amend its policies. She thinks that this is a great victory for them.
As of 30 June 2014, David Tepper‘s Appaloosa Management Lp hold around 3.6 million Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares.