Facebook has apologised to the LGBT community after the firm’s recent insistence on using real names caused upset for some members.
Amid outrage over the crackdown on using fake names, some of the affected users had ditched the social network to join the start-up rival Ello.
In an open letter Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox said the company would be introducing new authentication tools in order to allow those using stage names to verify their identify when accounts are flagged as fake.
“I want to apologize to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbors, and members of the LGBT community for the hardship that we’ve put you through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks,” Cox wrote.
"In the two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced, we’ve had the chance to hear from many of you in these communities and understand the policy more clearly as you experience it. We’ve also come to understand how painful this has been. We owe you a better service and a better experience using Facebook, and we're going to fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were."
The pain Cox speaks of refers to the upset users felt when being asked to identify with their legal names, which many have absconded through unpleasant or unwanted associations, or to protect themselves from those who could potentially harass them.
The firm said it is building better authentication tools to ensure those who wish to be identified under a different name, while ensuring those fake profiles, trolls and bullies aren’t able to gain a foothold in the site.
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