Facebook is well known for their strict name policy that requires people to use real names on their social network profiles.
Recently, Facebook has gotten some bad press for the procedures they use for reporting, flagging and enforcing their real-name policy. However, this week the social media giant is set to change the procedures that they use for reporting and dealing with violations of this policy.
The new procedures include better ways for reporting fake names and a new system for handling fake name reports. The new system also includes better options for handling issues with people who use non-Western names, LGBTQ issues as well as problems with stalking or abuse.
Facebook’s new policies are being implemented immediately for users in the United States. The policy changes will expand internationally after the company reviews feedback from the U.S. rollout.
Facebook hopes that the new changes will filter out most of the false user-name reports up front. After that, Facebook can focus their time on dealing with the real complaints that make it through to their staff.
To filter out the false name reports, Facebook will ask for more detailed information from people who report other users for using false names, posing as other people and fictional characters, or using unusual names.
After a report is filed against a user, that person will be contacted by Facebook and they will have one week to respond to the complaint before any punitive action is taken against their user account.
In addition, Facebook has created a special support group for helping people through the report process, which will offer users more personal customer service in place of the old automated process.
The new system has also been improved for people who are the victims of stalking and abuse. These people often don’t use their legal names online out of privacy, safety and security concerns. Facebook’s new name procedures will have a Name Verification step which will show reported people how their name will appear on Facebook before any changes are made to their profile.
It is important to note that Facebook’s new reporting procedures don’t change in the real name policy. People will still be required to use their real-life names when registering for an account on the social network.
Facebook has received some bad PR over several cases of false profile reporting, where legitimate user accounts were flagged and shutdown by the company. Facebook hopes that having real people involved in the reporting process will cut down or eliminate these embarrassing incidents.
Some of the people and groups that criticized Facebook’s old ‘real name’ policies and procedures have shown support for the changes this week; while others are cautiously optimistic or even suspicious about the changes.