This is why some people change their Facebook names

Facebook avatar

The site can refuse to allow people to change their names and insists people don’t use fake names unless in the most “unusual circumstances”.

Last year a group of drag queens in San Francisco had their accounts deleted because they were deemed to be violating the policy.

“People need to feel safe and be confident they know who they are communicating with,” says Facebook.

“When people use the names they are known by, their actions and words carry more weight because they are more accountable for what they say

“However, after hearing feedback from our community, we recognise that it’s also important that this policy works for everyone, especially for communities who are marginalised or face discrimination.”

The social media site has begun a trial of the new rules – for American users to begin with.

But why do people want to change their names on Facebook in the first place?

Newsbeat hears from four people.

The teacher

Facebook post reading: I personally change my fake name every now and then because our students are very good at finding teachers on Facebook. Most teachers use a fake name or only part of their name.

The police officer

Facebook post reading: My partner and I are both police officers and don't use our real names as we can be targeted by people we come into contact with at work. This has happened to people within our force so the majority of officers do this now.

The businesswoman

Facebook post reading: I work in advertising and I changed my name on Facebook because a client turned up to a meeting with some embarrassing photos of me at university. Since then I don't mix business with pleasure.

‘Robbie Williams’

Facebook post reading: I had to change my name on Facebook because people thought I was impersonating Robbie Williams but that's actually my real name.

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