This story was updated at 2:50 pm P.T. with a statement from the Transgender Law Center.
Facebook has apologized to users affected by its “real name” policy and said in a statement it will update its policy to allow users to identify themselves by their preferred names, even if it’s not their legal name.
In the apology, issued in a lengthy statement from the company’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, the company promised to “fix the way this policy gets handled” but didn’t provide specifics on how it would do so.
Cox said that the so-called “real name” policy had been in effect for more than 10 years but clarified it “has never been to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name.” Instead, he said, the policy stipulated that “everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life.”
He said that Facebook was caught off guard by the recent backlash against the policy, which began last month after reports that several prominent members of San Francisco’s drag community were being locked out of their Facebook accounts for not using their legal names.
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