The way this happened took us off guard. An individual on Facebook decided to report several hundred of these accounts as fake. These reports were among the several hundred thousand fake name reports we process every single week, 99 percent of which are bad actors doing bad things: impersonation, bullying, trolling, domestic violence, scams, hate speech, and more—so we didn’t notice the pattern. The process we follow has been to ask the flagged accounts to verify they are using real names by submitting some form of ID—gym membership, library card, or piece of mail. We’ve had this policy for over 10 years, and until recently it’s done a good job of creating a safe community without inadvertently harming groups like what happened here.
From Facebook’s apology to the LGBT community for its treatment of hundreds of people—including drag queens, transgender individuals, and others—who found themselves kicked off the social network due to the company’s real-name policy.
The company’s going to change its policy. The jerk who reported these people goes unnamed.