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My name is only real enough to work at Facebook, not to use on the site → 

Posted on 29 June 2015

@zip on Medium:

“I always knew this day would come. The day that Facebook decided my name was not real enough and summarily cut me off from my friends, family and peers and left me with the stark choice between using my legal name or using a name people would know me by.”

The reason? Zip is a a pseudonym, adopted during a gender transition, and Facebook wants real names only. In the wake of all those rainbow profiles, this does feel hypocritical:

“I chose my Facebook name six years ago, as I began my transition. Every person I’ve met since then has generally known me by that name, and in part this is precisely because I use it on Facebook. I so strongly identify with and am identified by that name that when I took a job at Facebook I put it on my badge.

“Worse still, they allow people to report each other for using “fake” names. People know this, and they use it as a mechanism to kick each other off the site. If you’re a marginalised person, such as a trans person, you may be left with no way to get back on. Facebook have handed an enormous hammer to those who would like to silence us, and time after time I see that hammer coming down on trans women who have just stepped out of line by suggesting that perhaps we’re being mistreated. In fact, it happened to me shortly after commenting on a Facebooker’s post that Facebook needs to step up on this issue.

By forcing us to change our names on the site, Facebook changes the names we are known by in real life — whether we like it or not.

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