- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Facebook apologized to the LGBT community on Wednesday in a promise to improve the way it enforces a long-held “real names” policy that activists say discriminates against transgender users and drag queens.

LGBT community advocates met with representatives at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California headquarters to address weeks of backlash over the social network’s policy, Buzzfeed reported. They say the policy disproportionately affects individuals who don’t typically go by their legal names.

“Many people need to use a chosen name in order to feel safe or to be able to express their authentic identity online,” advocates representing numerous LGBT groups across the country said in a letter presented to Facebook at the meeting, Buzzfeed reported.

Chris Cox, the company’s chief product officer, said in a statement on Facebook: “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.

“[W]e see through this event that there’s lots of room for improvement in the reporting and enforcement mechanisms, tools for understanding who’s real and who’s not, and the customer service for anyone who’s affected,” he continued. “To everyone affected by this, thank you for working through this with us and helping us to improve the safety and authenticity of the Facebook experience for everyone.”

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