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US: Facebook agrees to meet with drag performers about “real name” policy

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Supervisors at Facebook have come to a brief cease-fire with drag performers, agreeing to meet with a handful to discuss their policy requiring users to use legal names on profiles.

Facebook reached out to San Francisco-based Sister Roma shortly after she announced a planned protest on her Facebook page.

Roma said Facebook representatives spoke with her, agreeing to meet with her and members of the drag community.

She wrote: “Just got off the phone with Supervisor David Campos and representatives from Facebook. They have agreed to meet with us and members of the community for an open dialogue regarding their legal name policy.”

For now, Roma says the protest has been cancelled.

Last week Facebook deleted and made inactive hundreds of profiles for users who used names that did not match the name on their driver’s license or birth certificate 

Sister Roma, of the drag house Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence brought the controversy to social media when she posted to her Facebook account.

She wrote: “In light of the new demand by Facebook that we use our ‘real’ names I am considering shutting down my personal page to concentrate on my ‘FAN PAGE.’ I update it an [sic] interact as much as I can but I detest the idea of having a fan page. I have friends not fans.”

An online petition, started by Seattle-based Olivia De Grace, urged Facebook to relent on the policy, as it was hurtful to performers.

She wrote: “We build our networks, community, and audience under the names we have chosen, and forcing us to switch our names after years of operating under them has caused nothing but confusion and pain.”

At this time, Facebook has not released a statement as to whether they intend to change the policy.

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