Facebook are facing another class action lawsuit, this time in retaliation to their ever changing “real name policy”.
In what can only really be described as yet another oversight from a company that aims to connect all different types of people from across the world, Facebook seem to have forgotten that a good portion of the world’s population don’t use their real names, for good reason.
Additionally, Facebook appear to be falsely identifying genuine names, mistaking them for fake names, as their computer algorithms keep “red flagging” certain types of accounts.
Drag queens & kings, victims of harassment, victims of domestic abuse or even people acutely aware of Facebook’s ever growing presence in our private online lives constitute several groups of people who have legitimate reasons not to use their real “given” names on Facebook.
But the class action lawsuit Facebook are facing was not bought by any of these groups. Instead it is the Native American community – many of whom have had their accounts locked – who have filed the lawsuit, led by Dana Lone Hill. Many Native Americans, including Lone Hill, have been locked out of their accounts and told by Facebook to provide their real names, despite already having done just that.
Native Americans like Dana Lone Hill were instructed to hand over proof of identity in order to restore locked accounts. Many accounts were reinstated when Facebook backtracked after the stories were covered by national media.
The problem seems to have arisen because Native American names appear – from the viewpoint of a computer algorithm – to be fake. Consequently, the accounts have been getting locked.
Facebook have had to previously apologise to the LGBT community for their real name policy that forced plenty of LGBT onto the cold Facebook pavement. And despite promise of change, progress seems slow, at least according to Lone Hill.
“I want to bring this lawsuit for Native America because these are our real names, these are the names that we were given, these were the names we were born with.” she told the Guardian newspaper.
It seems likely given this on-going saga that Facebook will back down on its real name policy, instead implementing a more flexible system.
What do you think? Do you use your real name on Facebook? Let us know below.