Facebook warned over ‘third gender’ option

Nepal's first openly gay politician Sunil Babu Pant warns Mark Zuckerberg after he failed to address gender concerns

Facebook warned over ‘third gender’ option
30 March 2012

Nepal's first openly gay politician Sunil Babu Pant has threatened to publicly denounce Facebook unless the site allows users to list their gender as 'other'.

Pant, who this week opened the south Asian country's first 'third gender' toilet, says he is unhappy about not getting a reply from the social networking site to a letter he sent requesting the change.

In the correspondence, directed at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Pant appealed for an addition to the site's current male and female only gender  options.

He hopes Facebook will add a facility for users to list themselves as  neither male nor female.

'I write today as an avid user and admirer of Facebook,' said Pant in his letter.

'Your product has revolutionized the way we communicate and express ourselves around the world.

'It has brought communities together, which were otherwise thousands of miles apart, and resulted in collaboration and partnerships, which have improved the world.

'However, people who do not identify as male or female continue to be sidelined by Facebook’s options. As you allow users to identify only as male or female, many in the LGBTI community feel as if they are hidden on the site, unable to identify as their true selves.'

But an official Facebook statement, published by ZDNET.com, states that: 'People can already opt out of showing their sex on their profile.

'We’re constantly innovating on our products and features and we welcome input from everyone as we explore ways to improve the Facebook experience.'

Pant has reportedly branded the remarks 'irresponsible' and warned that, 'Until Facebook changes its position I am deactivating my Facebook account for now and if the genuine demand is not considered I will leave Facebook for good.'
 

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