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Facebook Puts Their Grammatical Foot Down

Have you ever noticed that Facebook automatically adds "they" or "themself" to profiles where users haven't specified whether they are male or female? Yeah, me neither.

Facebook is trying to put an end to their grammatical issues by making members select whether they are male or female so that issues don't arise. "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.

Because Facebook has recently expanded to include 15 new languages, it's imperative that people say which sex they are since the "they" or "themself" option isn't available when the plural is always masculine or feminine in other languages. Let me guess. . . French?! I always had such a hard time ingraining which words were masculine and feminine into my French vocab.

For those that think this is a tad intrusive, Facebook is also offering an opt-out option for people who don't feel the need, or don't feel comfortable indicating their gender.


Join The Conversation
panicitzalicia panicitzalicia 8 years
what's the problem with specifying your gender?
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 9 years
i guess some people haven't decided if they are boy or girl. but does it really matter
Dollylo Dollylo 9 years
I'm french but using the english version of Facebook so I don't reall care! ;) And I really don't see where's the prob of saying you're a girl or a boy! :rotfl:
kiwigeek kiwigeek 9 years
perhaps people are somehow going to steal their identity by specifying what sex they are?
SomethingWicked SomethingWicked 9 years
LOL...I had no idea this was a big issue
looseseal looseseal 9 years
Maybe someone who only has the account to connect with people they know in real life and want to limit how much personal info is available to strangers. I know I randomly select genders, birthdays, etc when I open accounts with these web 2.0 things. Lie like a rug and hopefully anyone who'd try to steal my identity won't be able to piece together any reliable info. Not sure about other languages, but in Chinese, we simply default to the male form when in doubt. Kinda patriarchal, but makes things easier, and pretty minor as far as patriarchy goes.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I dont get it. I dont have facebook but why does it matter what sex you are? I guess I understand the whole languages/translation aspect of it. Who cares?
melanie-RN melanie-RN 9 years
why on earth would someone not be comfortable with saying whether they are male or female?
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Good! My name (leslie) is technically unisex, although the male version isn't nearly as popular as the female. However, facebook and have both referred to me as a male!! And I even have my gender selected!
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