What’s in a Name? Everything.

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez reports in the San Francisco Examiner how the international debate over Facebook’s “Real Name Policy” has local consequences for the Bay Area. When organizers for what is probably the world’s best known Pride event faced a contentious vote over whether to allow Facebook space in the parade, a vote which fell 5 to 4 in favor of Facebook.

“Banning the social media giant would have been a bold move that might have put pressure on Facebook to change its stance on its controversial “authentic name” policy. However, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Gary Virginia, the board’s president, and perhaps other board members to discuss the issue, according to documents obtained by The San Francisco Examiner.”

Minutes of the spirited meeting suggest that the brief calls from Zuckerberg implied donations or threats to withhold such if the vote decided against them.

Read more here.

Facebook Fail

Christin Scarlett Milloy reports on the case of a black, Deaf and disabled trans woman, Kylie Brooks, who, after having successfully advocated for change to local Toronto services whose policies forced trans individuals “out” publically, then found herself the target of Facebook’s “real name” policy.

““Kylie” is a woman’s name and her account identifies her as female. However, in her profile picture, she appears as a black person who would commonly be read as masculine, with short hair, and a bearded face. Brooks is trans, and someone who works for Facebook has looked at her profile photo and decided she doesn’t look “Kylie” enough.”

The irony of an anonymous employee many thousands of miles from Kylie being empowered with the discretion to control her name and access to her community is repugnant.

Read more here.