It seems that Facebook is in the news again, this time for eliciting the ire of the drag queen community by deleting hundreds of profiles off of Facebook. Trannyshack founder and drag queen Heklina woke up to find her Facebook profile had been deleted. This had happened to other drag queens in her community and Facebook had sent her a message asking her to revert to her birth name. However Helkina thought that adding her real last name, Grygelko, to the site would be enough alas, it wasn’t. The social media giant’s policy has always been to use ‘real names’ on their profiles but I can’t tell you the amount of ‘friends’ that I have on Facebook that don’t use their real names – they use their nicknames or even completely made up names.
These people aren’t getting targeted so it stands to reason that an anonymous tipster is the one responsible for alerting Facebook. In fact, someone has posted on Secret that they’re the ones responsible for the act.
On Facebook’s end, their real name policy states, “Facebook is a community where people use their real identities. We require everyone to provide their real names, so you always know who you’re connecting with. This helps keep our community safe.” However the irony of this situation is that many drag queens don’t want their families to be able to find them by using their real names in order to protect themselves from bigotry and harm.
As of now (the time of writing) Facebook has reinstated the profiles it deleted with the caveat that drag queens use their real names. Last I checked Heklina has put her real name “Steven Grygelko” but has also inserted Heklina as a middle name. Sounds like a fair deal to me. We shall wait and see what Facebook has to say about all this. Meanwhile, what do you think of Facebook’s action?