30
June
2011
|
11:32 AM
America/Los_Angeles

Does Facebook Have a Racist "Real Name" Policy?

A reader writes:

Hi, my name is"Hani Hourani" a typical Arabic name which is apparently not good enough for Facebook.

Today I tried to log-in to my Facebook account and I couldn't because according to Facebook I am using an "Inauthentic Name."

They want my name to be Michael, or Chris but not Hani. Hani isn't an Inauthentic name, there's nothing wrong with it. I feel so offended, it is racism, and prejudice.

Then they ask me to fill in some form to give me 'real' name this time, and I insist to put the same name in the box, unless my name has been changed and I hadn't been told then I did not use a fake name, but this time I get blocked for 15 minutes because again, I entered an "Inauthentic."

After the 15 minutes had passed I tried again and this time my account got permanently disabled unless, and listen to this, unless I send them a copy of my personal ID.

If this is not a bug on their part, and it is indeed their algorithms that actively flagged my name "Inauthentic" then I won't be using Facebook again, even if the account gets restored.

This is just demeaning and completely disrespectful.

If you want proof I can give you my username and password to see for yourself, and you are more than free to share my real name.

I am writing in full faith that you can help me go public with this issue, because I am so deeply hurt and I cannot even navigate myself to an address on which I contact Facebook. The whole way they do business is a farce.

This must be a bug because I don't see how Facebook can claim 700 million plus world wide users without being able to process many non-Christian names.

But maybe it has an Arab filter? In which case, how did the "Facebook Revolution" take place in the Middle East? Were the activists assuming Western names, Todd, or Nigel, as a disguise from authorities (and Facebook?).

Also, if Facebook is demanding "real names" that could put future political activists in jeopardy. There won't be any further Facebook Revolutions if oppressors can easily finger the activists thanks to Facebook.

Let's see if the company's "social media" monitors pick up on this issue and fix it.