May 20, 2009

What's in a name?


My best friends Facebook account got deleted yesterday. It was strange and kinda startling, I have to say. It was a mystery until my dear sister called me to clear up the confusion (it's nice to know that someone still reads the newspaper!).

Mr. Jon Swift apparently had the same problem. Here's his experience:
"According to Facebook, I am a fake, a charlatan, a nonperson and all of my more than 200 Facebook friends are the victims of a cruel hoax. My crime? Violating Facebook's Terms of Service by not using my "real name." What's next?", Jon Swift wrote on his blog which is hosted by Google's Blogger.

After sending a message to the Facebook employees, Jon received an answer from a representative who informed him that his account infringed the Terms of Use. "Fake accounts are a violation of our Terms of Use. Facebook requires users to provide their real first and last names. Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reactivate this account for any reason. This decision is final", the email read, according to the blogger.


Well, how do you like that? I suppose you could find a lot of 'fake' names on Facebook. They must spend quite a bit of cash paying employees to track down the fakers. I wonder if those employees enjoy deleting those accounts of real folks just using a pseudonym.

I guess I'll be next, as I like using my name of Hendel D'bu. (It is my real name, just scrambled up a bit!) I am still considering whether it is worth changing my name to my real name, or just hanging on until they find me. Heck, how do they know if that's not my real name or not? It could be. I do list, on my profile, that I am also known as SHH and Liz. Do they even look at the profiles prior to deleting them? Lisa had that type of thing on her profile, that she was also known as Triple T and Lisa...

I'm thinkin' that this violates some sort of anti-prejudice laws, as it assumes a strange-sounding name is a "non-person". One of my daughter's friends also had her account deleted because of her name. She happens to be from Africa. And what about a Native American with the name of Running Deer or someone from another foreign country with a name none of us poor Americans can pronounce? Sorry, they must be non-persons, too. I'd bet if you listed your name as something mainstream, like Dan Jones, you wouldn't get deleted even if it weren't your name.

So, the end of the story with Mr. Swift...a FB group was formed by his 200 friends and told of the injustice of his deletion. Eventually, he received this from FB:
"Since others on the site seem to know you by this name, and since you don't appear to be using the name to impersonate or to hide your identity, we have determined that you are not violating these Terms. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Please let me know if you have further questions or concerns", a new email sent to Jon Swift stated.
Nice.

At this point, Lisa doesn't even know that her account has been jettisoned...she is across the state visiting her aged mother.

4 comments:

Mole said...

It will be interesting to see where this lands in the long run.

My high school typing teacher was Coach Swift (real last name). We always insisted that he was very appropriately named. It was a wonder that we ever typed a thing. Very distracting, he was.

Maybe Lisa's friends need to form a group in protest. Wouldn't she be surprised to return to such a show of indignation and support?

Ari C'rona said...

Wow! So my Facebook account is deleted?! I sure appreciate your indigation on my account, my friends! I'll check it out when I get home, I guess. :o/

Anonymous said...

I knew a Jon Swift in high school-- I wonder if it was him?

There are many people I know on facebook who don't use their "real" names. But, they use a name we all know them by.

Desi

Kaaren said...

Take 2 cause I can't type!

Ahh, so that's what happened. Many letterboxers use their trail names. Hmm. I wonder how many more will lose their accounts.