Facebook to Ask More Users to Specify Their Sex

Most developers have discovered that a large portion of Facebook’s user base – perhaps as much as 30% – haven’t specified their sex on their profile page. According to Facebook, that’s about to change.

Citing the difficulty of translating the gender-neutral (and invented word) “themself” that appears in Facebook feed stories in English, Facebook has decided to start prompting users to specify a gender. Currently, non-English Facebook users that haven’t specified a gender often get assigned the wrong gender in feed stories.

However, Facebook will still make it possible for users to remove gender from their profile altogether. Facebook’s Naomi Gleit writes,

We’ve received pushback in the past from groups that find the male/female distinction too limiting. We have a lot of respect for these communities, which is why it will still be possible to remove gender entirely from your account, including how we refer to you in Mini-Feed.