Facebook Finally Changes Its “Real Name” Reporting To Help Fight Abuse

facebook-privacy3Facebook has long promised to change the way users report fake names on the site, and this week, the change finally happened. Users will now find a new, more in-depth system in place, and Facebook has introduced a new method for how it deals with these reports.

“When people use the names they are known by… it makes it harder for bullies to anonymously smear the reputations of others, or anyone else to use an anonymous name to harass, scam or engage in criminal behavior,” Facebook wrote in a statement. “We’re firmly committed to this policy, and it is not changing. However, after hearing feedback from our community, we recognize that it’s also important that this policy works for everyone, especially for communities who are marginalized or face discrimination.”

It’s important to note that the policy itself isn’t changing, but the change could still help prevent discrimination. Users will now have to provide more information if they flag a user for having a fake name, and the user will be notified of the request. They will then have a week to take action, and Facebook has created a specialized support team to help them deal with any potential problems. In short, Facebook hopes to discourage false name reports with a few extra steps, and provide the human oversight necessary to make sure the wrong people don’t get blocked.