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IMDb allows transgender people to remove birth names after protest against ‘deadnaming’

IMDb allows transgender people to remove birth names after protest against ‘deadnaming’

Online film and TV database IMDb has changed its policy to allow people from the transgender community to remove their birth names, following a protest from LGBTQ+ groups.

The US coalition of groups had complained about IMDb’s perceived practice of “deadnaming”, which means to reveal birth details without the person’s consent.

Trans actor Laverne Cox has previously called deadnaming “the ultimate insult”. 

“IMDb now permits the removal of birth names if the birth name is not broadly publicly known and the person no longer voluntarily uses their birth name,” a spokesman for the website told Variety.

“To remove a birth name either the person concerned or their professional industry representative simply needs to contact IMDb’s customer support staff to request a birth name removal.

“Once the IMDb team determines that an individual’s birth name should be removed – subject to this updated process – we will review and remove every occurrence of their birth name within their biographical page on IMDb.”

However, there are caveats to the new rule.

Birth names will continue to be featured on the site when someone is credited on a project by their birth name. The name will appear on the site in parentheses to preserve “the factual historical record by accurately reflecting what is listed on-screen”.

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