Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox has issued a lengthy apology to transgender users and drag queens whose accounts were deleted because of the company’s “real name” policy. According to Facebook, a single user flagged several hundred accounts last month. “I want to apologize to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbors, and members of the LGBT community for the hardship that we’ve put you through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks,” said Cox. Facebook had previously required that users use “real names” to prevent abuse and impersonation. Facebook did defend a policy of requiring authentic names, however, pointing out, “The stories of mass impersonation, trolling, domestic abuse, and higher rates of bullying and intolerance are oftentimes the result of people hiding behind fake names,” however they recognized that in that case of the drag community, the “real name” might be the drag name.
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