Troublesome risk

Facebook leaves domestic violence survivors exposed

OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook is the only major social media site that won’t let users identify themselves with a pseudonym and forces users to an ‘authentic’ name instead. When users don’t comply with the “real-name” policy, their accounts can be suspended, and only reinstated when they give “acceptable proof of identity” (a photocopy of a driver’s license, for example). The rigid policy can have major consequences. For example, Lily, a 47-year old woman, who shared her story with the Daily Beast, was found online by the man who repeatedly abused and raped her two decades ago, after Facebook forced her to use her real name. Other survivors shared similar stories, and note that Facebook is their main way of staying in touch with family and friends (as 71 percent of adults are active on the social network), so being banned could mean a form of social exile. In a statement, Facebook reportedly said it’s made improvements “ in the overall experience,” but the social media giant has no plans to change its name verification policy.

Read the full story at The Daily Beast.

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