Drag Queens Claim Victory in “Real Names” Fight with Facebook

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — It appears the drag queens of San Francisco have convinced Facebook to let them use the names they identify with instead of what’s on their birth certificates.

San Francisco Supervisor David Campos says Facebook has agree to make substantive changes to the policy requiring people to use their real names on the social network.

“The drag queens spoke and Facebook listened! Facebook agreed that the real names policy is flawed and has unintentionally hurt members of our community. We have their commitment that they will be making substantive changes soon and we have every reason to believe them,” Campos said in a written statement.”

The change is coming after several high profile drag queens had their Facebook accounts suspended for not using their legal names.

“Facebook apologized to the community and has committed to removing any language requiring that you use your legal name. They’re working on technical solutions to make sure that nobody has their name changed unless they want it to be changed and to help better differentiate between fake profiles and authentic ones,” Campos added.

Sister Roma of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence says she’s delighted with the outcome.

“I always knew that Facebook would do the right thing. The people who work at Facebook live in San Francisco and are part of our community. You can’t be a San Franciscan and not love drag queens. I’m just happy I’ll have my name back.”

The talks leading to the changes followed protests and widespread use of the #MyNameIs hashtag to promote opposition to the “real names” policy.

Facebook has always required the use of legal names in profiles and programmed algorithms to seek out people whose identities on the network did not seems consistent with naming conventions. Many drag queens and others argued they should be able to determine their own online identities and that using real names put them at risk of being outed to employers and family members.

Stay tuned to KRON 4, the KRON 4 Mobile App, and KRON4.com for the latest on this developing story.

(Copyright 2014, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)

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