One hundred drag queens will reportedly descend on Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters tomorrow in a protest over the “real name” rule that has seen many profiles deleted. Via Techcrunch:
Trannyshack founder and drag queen Heklina woke up this morning to discover her Facebook profile page had been completely erased from existence. She’d heard of this happening to other queens in her community last week. Then Facebook sent her a personal message last Thursday that asked her to revert to her birth name, as well. She says she tried to comply with that request by keeping her drag name and then adding her last name, Grygelko. However, adding her last name as a compromise didn’t seem to be enough for the social network giant. Her entire profile is now gone. And she says she has no way of reaching out to her other drag queen friends because she doesn’t even know what their birth names are. “I’ve had this name for 20 years now,” she says. “I walk down the street and people say ‘Hi Heklina.’ People know me by my drag name.” She says asking her to revert to her birth name is akin to not acknowledging her as a person.
Heklina says that Facebook claims that the real name rule has long been in place and that algorithms just recently discovered all the drag names.
UPDATE: The protest has been postponed after Facebook officials agreed to meet with the group.