IMDb has revised its pre-existing policy in regards to the publication of removal of birth names. The revisit to the policy was a result of the backlash the site received earlier this year for publishing the birth names of transgender performers without their consent. The practice is known as “deadnaming”, the outing of their birth names can bring about stress and possibly lead to harassment and discrimination.
“In response to feedback we received from our transgender customers and other entertainment industry thought-leaders, IMDb has recently updated our birth name policy,” an IMDb spokesperson said in a statement given to Deadline. “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. 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.”
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The spokesperson continued, “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.”
In regards to birth name removal requests to titles in which a person was credited on-screen as their birth name, IMDb said that their credited name will remain listed in the credits section of applicable IMDb name and title pages in parentheses. “This is in order to continue providing IMDb’s hundreds of millions of customers worldwide with comprehensive information about film and TV credits, thereby preserving the factual historical record by accurately reflecting what is listed on-screen,” said the spokesperson.