Facebook Addressing Criticism of Real Names Policy

Social network is testing two new tools.

— -- Facebook is addressing criticism of its real names policy with two new tools designed to help people who may not want to use their real name on the site.

The policy being tested, is designed to make people accountable for what they say, however it's been criticized by transgender, Native American and other Facebook users who may use different names other than the first and last names on their birth certificates.

"We’re firmly committed to this policy, and it is not changing. However, after hearing feedback from our community, we recognize that it’s also important that this policy works for everyone, especially for communities who are marginalized or face discrimination. That’s why we’re continuing to make improvements in this area," Justin Osofsky, vice president of global operations, and Todd Gage, product manager, wrote in a blog post.

Two new tools being tested will now allow users to share their special circumstances with Facebook if their account has been flagged. The social network promises the information in the tool will remain private and said it will help better inform decisions made in the future.

A second new feature will require Facebook users who flag an account to provide more context.

"These improvements are only the beginning. Early in the new year, we will be looking at other ways we can reduce the number of people who have to go through an ID verification experience, while preserving the safety of other people on the site," the post said.