Help, I’m Trapped in Facebook’s Absurd Pseudonym Purgatory
Facebook took my profile away. And it’s clear I’m never getting it back.
Two weeks ago, Facebook locked me out of my profile. My photos and friends are gone, my profile vanished without a trace.
Someone reported my account as pseudonymous, and Facebook kicked me out. To get back in, I must provide various forms of identification proving the authenticity of my username. I’m not going to.
I am one of many casualties of Facebook’s recently rejiggered “authentic name” policy, wherein anonymous users can report a name as fake and trigger a verification process. Part of the motivation is stopping the proliferation of celebrity imposter accounts and profiles made for pets. But it’s also allowed Facebook to shutter the accounts of real people, based on “authenticity.” What does “authentic” mean, though? It’s both confusing and contextual, because identity itself is confusing and contextual.
Despite those complexities, Facebook believes it can determine authenticity for you.
Right now, the policy defines authentic as the name you “use in real life.” It’s a policy that has existed as long as Facebook has, though it’s (ironically) been fluidly defined over time. Aside from the complexity of identity, the policy is haphazardly enforced at best. At worst, it’s dangerous and discriminatory, and has demonstrably and repeatedly been used to target people who often already are marginalized and vulnerable.
DAWG SAYS: EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED TO MY WIFE IN HER BUSINESS PAGE. I STRONGLY ADVISED HER TO NOT PUT ANY PERSONAL DOCUMENTS, PHOTO OF DRIVERS LICENSE-BIRTH CERTIFICATE-GREEN CARD- AND MANY OTHERS LISTED, LIKE THEY REQUESTED. IT IS TOO STRANGE.
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