Facebook has an inconsistently enforced policy of requiring people to use their real names on their Facebook accounts, even if doing so would put them in danger. For LGBTI Facebook users in anti-gay countries, public exposure often can lead to violence, prosecution and/or imprisonment. Facebook doesn’t admit this, but sometimes it acts as though it knows it.
Here are two examples of problems caused by the Facebook policy:
Junior (June) Mayema left the Democratic Republic of Congo to flee from homophobia and transphobia, but now that he’s in the United States, Facebook forces him to use a legal name that he dislikes and that leaves him exposed to potential harassment.
- Ethiopian activist HappyAddis, who runs some of the most popular online groups for gay Ethiopians, including 1000-member Zega Matters, had his Facebook account blocked because he was not using his legal name. After…
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