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Facebook Issues Apology Over Real-Name Policy Issue

Facebook offered a formal apology on Wednesday to address the issues surrounding its real-name policy, San Francisco Gate reported.

Earlier in September, a group of drag queens and transgender performers launched a petition to call on the attention of the social networking giant regarding one of its guidelines.

Those who supported the petition complained that Facebook required them to use their real names in their accounts. But for people who use stage names as part of their professional careers, such as Sister Roma, using their real names on Facebook exposes them to potential security risks.

"The fact is Facebook is a very important life in San Francisco and we want members of our community to feel comfortable and treated with respect as they participate in Facebook," San Francisco Supervisor David Campos said.

"These people have created an identity connected to their public name," he added. "Facebook has created a community we all want to be a part of, and everyone should get to be a part of it, however they choose to identify."

In response, Facebook sat down with Campos along with representatives from the LGBT community and supporters of the petition.

After the negotiation, the company's chief product officer Chris Cox released an apology on behalf of Facebook. The letter was posted on Cox's own Facebook account.

"In the two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced, we've had the chance to hear many of you in these communities and understand the policy more clearly as you experience it," Cox wrote. "We've also come to understand how painful this has been."

"We owe you a better service and a better experience using Facebook, and we're going to fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were," he continued.

Campos then mentioned that Facebook will change its policy so that people like Sister Roma, who was later identified as Michael Williams, can choose to use stage names in their accounts, The Verge reported.  

"Facebook has agreed that the real name policy is flawed and has unintentionally hurt members of our community," Campos said. "We have their commitment that they will be making substantive changes soon and we have every reason to believe them."

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