Facebook Blocks Users with Short Surnames

Mon 9 July 2012 13:45, Vitto Christaldi

Facebook Blocks Users with Short Surnames

Facebook has decided to block all users which are suspected to use fake names or aliases, including users with short surnames like Fu, Ab, or Eg. These users can regain the access to their Facebook accounts by sending the copy of their passports.

Some Facebook users in the Netherlands have already complained about the unfair account blockade. According to the interview with Damaris Beems from 7N60 (the appointed PR Agency for Facebook Benelux) in Dutch “Metro” newspaper, “Facebook is attempting to comply with the ‘Real People, Real Names’ policy. This policy is genuinely formed for security reason. During the automatic control check, it is possible that the system suspects fake names, which can lead to account blockade”.

To have their Facebook accounts unblocked, users with suspiciously short lastnames  must prove that they are indeed their real names simply by sending a copy of their passports to the Facebook headquarters in the United States. On the other hand, the experts from University of Amsterdam and digital civil rights organization, Bits of Freedom (BoF), recommend Dutch citizens (along with all European citizens) not to send copies of their IDs to the United States, mainly to avoid privacy infringement. Besides, privacy policy in the United States is slightly different than that in the European United has. 

It is still unclear whether this “Real People, Real Name” policy has been applied to regions other than the Netherlands. 

I honestly disagree with this policy, because I believe people have the rights to stay anonymous on social media. Besides, not being paranoid, but there are plenty of creepy people out there, so perhaps it is better to use pseudonym on Facebook.


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