Facebook continues to allow members of the LGBT community to be maliciously targeted and reported based on identity. Our accounts are being unfairly suspended and we’re being forced to “prove” who we are. Many of us, especially trans men and women, do not have any government issued ID that reflects our authentic identity. Our community is disappearing from Facebook — and they’re letting it happen. Do not let them march in our parade! #MyNameIs #NoPrideForFacebook
In September 2014 a rash of malicious attacks were made targeting members of the LGBT Community utilizing Facebook’s so-called “fake name” reporting option. The systematic reporting and bullying began on the West Coast, quickly spread to the East Coast and soon became a world-wide epidemic. As a result our entire community was virtually disappearing from Facebook.
To express our outrage, a group of San Francisco drag queens, drag kings, burlesque performers, members of the transgender community, and city government officials banded together to create the #MyNameIs Campaign. Our very vocal opposition to Facebook’s unfair and discriminatory “real” names policy made international headlines and caught the attention of executives at Facebook. Within two weeks we held a press conference during which Facebook issued an “apology” to the LGBT community and made a promise to make changes to the site’s policies that would allow all users to represent themselves on Facebook in an authentic way.
Rather than continue with plans to hold a protest, we accepted Facebook’s apology as sincere and agreed to work with them to create a safe environment for our community as well as the millions of other users affected by the “real” names policy. Since then, we have met with Facebook four times to review the policy and the reporting process. We have also assumed the burden of personally assisting thousands of individuals who were falsely reported regain access to their Facebook accounts using their chosen authentic names.
In the eight months since this debacle began, it has become clear that Facebook’s apology was empty and their promise to make any real change to their policy was a lie. Facebook refuses to budge on their “real” names policy and no substantial changes to the reporting process have been made.
To this day the malicious reporting against our community continues as thousands of LGBT users are locked out of their accounts, lose access to their photos, news feeds, and are cut off from their social network.
By allowing this cyber bullying to continue, Facebook is endorsing bigotry and discrimination against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals who use names that express their true identity that cannot be proven on a government issued ID. They continue to ignore the fact that this problem is particularly dangerous to the trans community, many of whom live in constant danger of being exposed on Facebook, making them vulnerable to discrimination, bullying, and violence.
Several members of the #MyNameIs core team have received email from users who feel defeated, disregarded, abandoned, alone, frightened, and even suicidal as a result of being banned from Facebook because of their identities.
It is clear that Facebook’s continued adherence to this short-sighted and unfair policy, which results in the continued harassment, discrimination, and malicious bullying of LGBT users, is dangerous and harmful to our community.
In light of Facebook’s shameful disregard for the LGBT community’s safety and right to authentically identify, we, the undersigned, respectfully request that you ban Facebook from participating in your Pride parade and deny them any involvement in any official Pride related events.
Please stand with us and send a message to Facebook that we will not tolerate their blatant discrimination and harmful disregard for the safety and rights of the LGBT community.
The ‘real name’ policy is incredibly bigoted and insensitive to people who need to keep hidden from abusers. Even after they apologized and claimed to have changed the policy, Facebook purposely put my name on my profile and refused to let me change it, forcing me to change all of my information into false information and kill my account . The last thing I needed was for my family to find me. I did not appreciate that violation of my humanity. Facebook has absolutely no responsibility for how it treats the people it exploits for its billions. I wish the site would just burn to the ground and cease to exist.
– posted at Tumblr