Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lawyers say that Facebook's "real names" policy works to the detriment of some in the gay community, especially transgender and drag queen performers

Electronic Frontier Foundation has an interesting and disturbing perspective on how Facebook’s “real names only” can work to the detriment of some people in the LGBTQ community, especially transgender, or those in low-income areas, or in non-western communities overseas, with the link here. The article is by Nadaia Kayyali and Jillian York.  Slate, in fact, had an article, “Is Facebook cracking down on drag names?” (which for performers are usually pseudonyms), here

Google Plus is reported to have ended the “real names” policy altogether.
Facebook says that “real names” keeps the community safer, but that works both ways.  People can use pseudonyms for non-real names for fan pages, which offer much restricted capabilities. Mark Zuckerberg has been reported to say that he feels that pseudonyms show a lack of integrity -- but many writers have used them for centuries.  Look at female novelists in Britain!

Supposedly, the trans community was to demonstrate today at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto. 


It's important to realize that not many drag queens are not transgendered, and that many transvestites are actually straight, and want to diminish the cultural  importance of visual images of sexual conformity.
Fifteen years ago, even my own mother was nervous at one time that I was writing about gays in the military under my own name, possibly inciting violence or indignant attacks or bringing it upon myself or others connected to me.  I have often said that I cannot live with that kind of “Mafia” thinking.  Of course, my parents grew up in a world where a lot of people did think that way, and I respect that now. That goes on in other parts of the world, though, as EFF points out – and Facebook’s policy talks about the effect on the Arab Spring. Needing anonymity (de facto “witness protection”) --  that’s the stuff of soap operas (although “Days of our Lives” really turned around 180 degrees on open homosexuality and gay marriage in the past two years).  

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