Facebook announces changes to 'real name' policy

MENLO PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- Facebook is testing some changes to its user name policy to quiet critics who have issues with using their real names. The company has required real names, not pseudonyms to log on. Some say that could put their jobs, even their lives in jeopardy.

Facebook feels real names are important, because it increases accountability and reduces bullying, harassment and criminal activity, but they are now making some exceptions.

WATCH VIDEO: Protesters rally against Facebook's fake name policy

Facebook hosted a forum Tuesday night with members of the LGBT committee, to discuss changes to the naming policy.

Last year drag performers in San Francisco said they were locked out of their accounts after someone reported they were using their stage names and not their real names. The performers pointed out there are many valid reasons why someone might not want to use their legal names on their Facebook pages, including avoiding harassment and personal safety issues.

WATCH VIDEO: Drag queen group wants Facebook banned from pride parades

Facebook announced it is testing a new tool requiring people who flag profiles with fake names to provide more context in the report, including why they are making the complaint.

"There's still a lot of work to be done but my hope is that by making it more difficult to report people for what they accuse you of having a fake name, will reduce the number of reports and reduce the amount of bullying and make the situation better for our community," said Sister Roma.

Facebook also announced expanded opportunities for users to report special circumstances for not using their real name and expand options for how users can verify their names.

Advocates say the new policy starts in the U.S. and are hoping the rules will soon change for Facebook users around the world.

Click here for more stories on Facebook.
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.