Sister Roma who spoke today with representatives of Facebook about the real names issue has posted an update on her facebook page.
Since people have been speaking up this story has been mentioned on CNN, NBC and all over the net.
Although many SL avatars have moved to Google+, most of us still prefer to use Facebook because it is just so handy, especially for communities.
If we are forced to create a page, we lose the ability to be in a group, organise and invite to events, etc, etc.
Maybe one day Linden Lab will create a facebook clone just for avatars on the Second Life website.
Till then we are stuck with Google+ or pretend to be real people on Facebook.
Anyway, here is the update from Sister Roma her facebook page;
Facebook refuses to agree that the legal name policy is unfair and discriminatory.
They acknowledged that although Facebook has the legal name policy they do not enforce it.
While we could not get them to budge on the actual policy they did seem more open to considering that there are flaws in the complaint review process.
We met with Susan Gonzales, a public liason, and via skype with Monika, the person in charge of content policy. We also meet with members of the Facebook LGBT alliance. The purpose of this meeting was to establish an open dialogue and that’s what happened. I was very impressed by our team. Everyone spoke very eloquently and intelligently. Our broad community was well represented by David Campos, Steven Heklina Grygelko BeBe Sweetbriar, Tom Temprano, 3, Carmen, Nadia Kayyali, Dottielux Smith, Trisha Fogleman, Matt Cagle, Gabriel Haaland, Lil Miss Hot Mess, Alex U Alex U. Inn. Adam from Scott Wiener‘s office and Mark Snyder from the Transgender Law Center. Thank you all for your passion and dedication.
We left the meeting with an agreement that they would continue to meet with us to further hear our concerns and work together to find a compromise.
Conversations with LGBT employees of Facebook after the meeting left me feeling a little more hopeful. They hinted that this issue has been raised internally and there have been heated debates on both sides of the legal name policy. We definitely have allies working “on the inside.”
Shortly after the meeting Facebook announced that they would reinstate profiles of members of the LGBT community that had recently been targeted, suspended or removed. The statement further goes on to say that Facebook hopes that within 2 weeks time the users will either confirm their real identity, change to their legal names, or move to a fan page. While at first glance this seems like a grand show of support for our community it is actually a completely hollow gesture. Basically they offered to give us our profiles back so that two weeks later they could suspend them, demand we comply to their unfair and discriminatory policy, and if not, take them away again. This is completely unacceptable.
To Facebook this is an issue of broader consequence that could take years to review, rewrite or rescind. We do not have that kind of time. Our communities profiles and identities are disappearing daily. We could be wiped out entirely in a short period of time. If we do not get adequate action from Facebook in a few weeks time I would say that we’re ready to go back to our original idea and hold a protest at their campus. They might be able to wipe us off Facebook but they’ll know we’re still here!
We will not rest until not only drag queens, but everyone, has the right to CHOOSE how they wish to be identified on Facebook.
Stay tuned. This is not over! #MyNameIsRoma
If only Facebook Pages came with more options, it would make everyone happy.