SOURCE: Ello

Ello

May 28, 2015 13:59 ET

Ello Declares June 1 as "Ello Pride Day" to Celebrate the LGBTQ Community

Supports Members Protesting Facebook's "Real Name" Policy

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - May 28, 2015) - Ello, the beautiful & ad-free social network, has officially declared June 1 "Ello Pride Day" in celebration of Gay Pride Month and in support of the LGBTQ community. On Ello, users are not required to disclose their real names, allowing greater privacy and freedom of expression.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a charitable and activist organization run by drag queens, will host a protest today against Facebook at the company's Menlo Park headquarters. The protest takes aim at Facebook's "real name policy," which requires Facebook users to enter and post using their legal names on the platform. Ello, which encourages freedom of speech and expression by allowing its users to post using any name they want, is directly supporting these protests as well as the efforts of the LGBTQ community to prohibit Facebook from marching in Pride Day parades taking place in New York City and San Francisco.

Facebook's "real name policy" has garnered strong criticism from the global LGBTQ community. High-profile drag queens and other LGBTQ leaders have spoken out, stating that it directly violates right to free expression by forcing drag queens and other members of the community to use a name that they may not use in their everyday lives.

Sister Indica, leader of Ello's @ellodrag community and leading member of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, commented, "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and drag queens are not the only targets of Facebook's 'Real Name' policy but just like at Stonewall, we're at the forefront of the fight to be ourselves authentically -- both on and offline. We have always been a voice for those who aren't heard -- but I assure you, they will be heard."

The protesters have also called attention to the ways in which Facebook's policy denies Native Americans their cultural heritage and can put survivors of domestic violence at risk by forcing them to use their real names.

Ello's policies, which do not require users to enter their real names, support the ad-free community's core values of equality, positivity and respect for others. Ello continues to welcome a large influx of LGBTQ users to the network and continues to support initiatives including today's protest.

"Ello is not motivated by the needs of advertisers and data aggregators," said Ello CEO and Co-founder Paul Budnitz. "Facebook's policy is aimed at squeezing the most money out of its users by bullying them into using real names so they can more easily track them and sell their data. Because Ello will never have ads or sell user data, you can safely be whoever you want. On Ello we celebrate the LGTBQ community's right to live their digital lives with freedom and dignity."

Besides policies that support privacy and freedom of expression, Ello supports community management features that help its gender creative community mute, block, and report activity that make them feel threatened or unsafe.

Join the conversation on Ello and Twitter with #MyNameIs and tune in to coverage of the protest at ello.co/ElloDrag. For more information about Ello and how to be a part of a community-first social network, visit Ello at ello.co.

For more information on Facebook's "Real Name" Policy and protest, read Ello CEO and Co-founder Paul Budnitz's Medium post here: http://bit.ly/1RqN5Rt

Follow Ello Founder Paul Budnitz on Ello (@budnitz)
Follow Sister Indica on Ello (@sisterindica)
Follow Ello Drag (@ellodrag)

About Ello
Ello is a beautiful & ad-free social network that was created with the safety, privacy, and freedom of its community in mind. On Ello, you can be whoever you want to be.

Ello's core fan-base includes many of the world's top artists, digital innovators, activists, writers, photographers, chefs, coders, and more. This progressive and passionate community makes Ello a unique hub for digital expression, interaction and collaboration.

Ello is a Public Benefit Corporation, which legally means that Ello will never serve ads or sell its personal data to third party vendors. No ads, no data mining, and no algorithms controlling what you see. All content shared or created on Ello enjoys 100% organic reach. There is no algorithm that chooses what users see.

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