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Facebook to Push Members For Male/Female Declaration

3:49 pm on Jun 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Facebook [uk.reuters.com] to Push Members For Male/Female Declaration
Social network site Facebook will press members to declare whether they are male or female, seeking to end the grammatical device that leads the site to refer to individual users as "they" or "themself."
"We've gotten feedback from translators and users in other countries that translations wind up being too confusing when people have not specified a sex on their profiles," Facebook product manager Naomi Gleit said in a company statement.

2:24 pm on June 28, 2008 (gmt 0)


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No doubt protests from various special interests will follow. Makes sense, though, as 99% of profiles are obviously identifiable by gender (or at least the gender the profile owner wants you to believe).

I did this on a community not too long ago because of member confusion. Before that, members would choose a non-gender-specific nickname, and would end up having to clarify, "I'm not a guy, I'm a girl" multiple times in a long thread. I did leave the option to not specify.

4:21 am on July 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I read a wonderful 20-page briefing for a position I once took on the potential issues surrounding the trans[gender] community.

I left it with a distinct impression that defining gender is much more complicated than most people give credance to, and that a simple binary distinction is flawed.

I now really dislike it when I'm asked to choose one or the other. The answer usually depends on my state of mind and what colour the day is.