Drag queen group wants Facebook banned from pride parades in SF, NY

Carolyn Tyler Image
ByCarolyn Tyler KGO logo
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Drag queen groups wants FB banned from pride parades
A group of drag queens is rallying to get Facebook banned from pride parades in San Francisco and New York over the tech giant's real names policy.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A group of drag queens in San Francisco is renewing an old fight against Facebook. It's over the company's policy of identifying user profiles. The protesters want the tech giant banned from the pride parades in both San Francisco and New York.

Back in September and now, a drag queen known as Lil Miss Hot Mess protested what she believes if a flawed Facebook policy on the use of pseudonyms.

"They are still restricting the names that people can use on their profiles and allowing other users to report users," she said. "Transgender people, LGBT people are being reported as a way of harassing them."

And she says hundreds have had their accounts deactivated by Facebook.

But the company says there are now expanded options to allow names that are used in real life. In a statement, Facebook said, "Having people use their authentic names makes them more accountable, and also helps us root out accounts created for malicious purposes."

"What we've seen from Facebook is the rhetoric but not any follow through," said Supervisor David Campos.

Campos introduced a resolution last year calling on Facebook to make changes, which he believes would not only help the LGBT community but others who need privacy like victims of domestic violence.

Now he supports a petition organized by some drag queens to ban Facebook from the upcoming pride parades in both San Francisco and New York. CEO Mark Zuckeeberg took part in 2013.

"I think it sends a message that what you're doing has consequences," Campos said.

And the supervisor is looking at what else can be done at city hall to put political pressure on Facebook.