Facebook name warning

Anyone out there who’s using Facebook using a name that doesn’t look like a name needs to be aware that their account will be suspended as soon as they get found out. Just the other day this happened to a leading ME campaigner who was using a slightly disguised version of his email address as his Facebook name (although the address did contain his real name). There is speculation that someone might have complained about him, but the real reason is probably nothing more than this. A couple of years ago the same happened to one of my Muslim blogging friends who was using a name that couldn’t possibly be a name, even though we all recognised her by it.

Of course, you don’t have to use your real name; you can use a pseudonym and I’m sure many do. It just has to be a name.

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  • I don’t use my real name on Facebook. One reason I don’t like Facebook is the insistence of using your real name. Plenty of people have nicknames, which may be objects, that people recognise them by.

  • M Risbrook

    Who bloody cares. There WAS an internet before Facebook showed its ugly face.

  • Thersites

    “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

    Have the organisers of Facebook taken up philosophy, then?

    What is a name? Was George Orwell really Eric Blair, or was Eric Blair really George Orwell? Jorge Luis Borges wrote a story about the difference between himself and Jorge Luis Borges the world-famous writer; was it Jorge Luis Borges the retired liobrarian or Jorge Luis Borges the world-famous writer who wrotenthe story? Is Indigo jo somehow someone else when he is away from here? Which is the real Indigo Jo?

  • Belal

    Is there anything said about this in the terms of service, or is this an inference from people’s anecdotes?

  • I’ve not read the terms of service, but like I said, I’ve seen two people have their accounts cancelled, one of them explicitly for having a non-name for a name, the other who also wasn’t using a recognisable name.

  • M Risbrook

    I really wish people would do their homework and read the small print before crying wolf.

  • CNC

    Salam alaikoum This link from fb contains some very vague legal language re real names: http://www.facebook.com/terms.php

    the way I read it is that they don’t specifically outlaw it but keep it as an option.

  • africana

    i recently came across one of those groups on facebook mocking a man who appears to have a mental illness (possibly schizophrenia or bipolar).the evil people behind the group, which has a large number of “fans”, have included some unflattering photos taken of him in various parts of the town where he hangs around as well as mentioning in the description of him some of the unusual things he has said in his street sermons. the group founders also jokingly make,on account of the fact that he identifies as muslim, a reference to the fact that bin laden has been spotted in the town centre around which he hangs around.

    it reminds me of those people who use to visit asylums,like bedlam, in order to derive amusement from the antics of the mentally ill.

    i just wonder as to whether this group can be taken down…

  • africana: What’s the URL for the group? We can all report the group to Facebook. They are quite good at removing groups which are racist, misogynistic or malicious.

  • CNC

    Africana, the same thing happened in the German part of Switzerland a few months ago: a group was made for making fun of a man in the city (I think it was Biel) who had some sort mental illness or learning disability (or both). When the group was reported, the founder of it dared defend himself by saying it was a fan page for a “local celebrity.” it so grossed me out. The group, iirc, took a few months to get deleted. Sad

  • africana
  • Hmmm … I reported it, but all I could categorise it was “inappropriate content”. I hope they notice why I think it’s inappropriate.

  • Umm al-Ma’arik

    Salaams I reported it too. If enough people do likewise it may achieve something…

  • africana

    thanks,everyone.