Using the hashtag #NoPrideForFacebook, a San Francisco group headed by the same drag queens who went to war with Facebook last fall are now calling for a ban on Facebook's participation in the LGBT Pride events this June in both New York and San Francisco. This all goes back to Facebook's "real name" policy and the company's lack of clarity when it comes to addressing the concerns of not only the LGBT community, but those who have suffered domestic abuse or who don't want students or clients finding their personal photos, because of their professions. Now there's a petition that is just shy of its goal of 1,500 signatures calling for Facebook and its employees to lose the privilege to participate in this year's Pride parades.
The battle started in September over Facebook's policy of suspending accounts of individuals and performers using something other than their birth names on the site, and it led to Facebook having a number of meetings with these same drag queens and some concerned politicians in which the company had to admit that their policing of fake or potentially abusive accounts becomes problematic when they run up against real people whose identities are not as simple as what's on their birth certificate or driver's license. It looked like the fight might be over back in October when Facebook issued a mea culpa of sorts, and claiming that a fix was on the way and that the company always defined 'real name' as a person's preferred name.
But now, according to petition organizer and SF drag queen Lil Miss Hot Mess, who participated in the initial meetings, time has passed and the policy has not changed, and it leads to bullying tactics by those who want to report others who might be using assumed names on the social network.
In the eight months since this debacle began, it has become clear that Facebook’s apology was empty and their promise to make any real change to their policy was a lie. Facebook refuses to budge on their "real" names policy and no substantial changes to the reporting process have been made.
To this day the malicious reporting against our community continues as thousands of LGBT users are locked out of their accounts, lose access to their photos, news feeds, and are cut off from their social network.
By allowing this cyber bullying to continue, Facebook is endorsing bigotry and discrimination against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals who use names that express their true identity that cannot be proven on a government issued ID. They continue to ignore the fact that this problem is particularly dangerous to the trans community, many of whom live in constant danger of being exposed on Facebook, making them vulnerable to discrimination, bullying, and violence.
Another of the cause's original champions who spoke to SFist as we first broke the story in September, Sister Roma of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, has also been touting the new petition and #NoPrideForFacebook on her social media. Says Sister Roma, "For many people, Facebook is a virtual lifeline to society. I’ve received hundreds of emails from people, especially members of the trans community who feel violated, disregarded, disrespected, isolated, alone, depressed and even suicidal after being hit by some asshole who reports them for using a ‘fake’ name." She says the there's been another recent uptick in these account suspensions and that "This problem is huge for the LGBT community and potentially dangerous for many people."
She adds that, "Despite all of our efforts, Facebook still has not made any significant changes to their policy or the reporting procedure to allow for users with authentic identities that cannot be reflected in government issued ID."
Previously: BREAKING: Facebook Issues Mea Culpa To Drag Queens And Others Over 'Real Name' Policy [Updated]
Zuckerberg Has Always Believed That We're Only Entitled To One Identity
Drag Queens, Other Performers Outraged As Facebook Forces Them To Use Their Real Names