There was a protest with dozens of people dressed in a drag in front Facebook’s headquarters on Monday.
Organizers of the demonstration said about 100 people participated in the protest demanding Facebook drop its “real name” policy, which requires users to publicly list a name that they can prove they use every day.
The group of San Francisco drag queens who organized the protest say bigots are taking advantage of the policy and reporting transgender people, Native Americans, and even domestic abuse survivors.
“The fake name reporting [option] is really a blanket way for someone to report anyone to Facebook because there's no accountability and there's no proof that's required,” said Lil Miss Hot Mess, one of the organizers of today’s protest.
Hot Mess says ultimately the policy is leading to some vulnerable users being blocked from Facebook.
“I wouldn’t be doing this if it just affected drag queens, because I would have just shut down my account and figured out a different way to connect with people,” Lil Miss Hot Mess told Fusion.
A Facebook spokesperson told Fusion they require authentic names that people use every day to keep the social media site safe.
“Over the last several months, we’ve made some significant improvements in the implementation of this standard, including enhancing the overall experience, expanding the options available for verifying an authentic name and allowing people continued access to their profiles while they verify their name,” read the statement sent to Fusion.
“We have more work to do, and our teams will continue to prioritize these improvements,” the spokesperson said.