No longer on Facebook, #MyNameIs

They denied my 'authentic name' yesterday.

I will no longer be using Facebook as a personal page. The business page will slowly go away as well.

They WILL NOT allow me the use of the name I have gone by since the first day I signed up on the Internet. They have denied my friends the right to use the name I have gone by for over 20 years.

The wording they used in the email to deny it, makes it very clear that their 'authentic name policy', - "what your friends call you" ( Facebook is a community where people use their authentic identities. We require people to provide the name they use in real life; that way, you always know who you're connecting with... The name you use should be your authentic identity; as your friends call you in real life and as our acceptable identification forms would show </a>, is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Note that acceptable id forms still means you have to upload an official government ID and that THAT is really the only thing they will look at, it is under Option 3, where it claims it is only for the purpose of verifying the birth date. They also lie when they say they won't add the information on the legal id to your personal page- how else are they going to force you to change it and believe me, they DO use that info to try to force a change, because I DID NOT give them my legal name any other way. And option 2? Most of those DO NOT have photos or birth dates associated with them either.

"Option 2

You can provide two different forms of ID from the following list (ex: a bank statement and a library card, but not two bank statements). The names on your IDs must match each other, and one of the IDs must include a photo or date of birth that matches the information on your profile.

Below are some examples of IDs we'll accept:

◾Bank statement
◾Bus card
◾Credit card
◾Employment verification
◾Library card
◾Magazine subscription stub
◾Medical record
◾Membership ID (ex: pension card, union membership, work ID, professional ID)
◾Paycheck stub
◾School card
◾School record
◾Social Security card
◾Utility bill
◾Yearbook photo (actual scan or photograph of the page in your yearbook)

Option 3
If you don’t have an ID that shows your authentic name as well as your photo or date of birth, you can provide two forms of ID from Option 2 above, and then provide a government ID that includes a date of birth or photo that matches the information on your profile. We won't add the name or other information from the government ID to your account." )

I provided them with over 20 years worth of documentation, with statements from friends, with everything they asked for and then some. But in their coding, they have already decided and wiped my name from existence on Facebook- I got the 'weekly page stats' email for my business page this morning and it had a name on it that is in no way associated with the email the weekly stats were sent to.

So. Since this is unacceptable to me, since they obviously do not care about their users- we already knew they didn't care about small businesses anyway, that's why they skew the stats so much for business pages- I will not allow them to put a name on my personal page that I have never once used publicly online, not in over 25 years, and rarely off line, publicly in over 15 years. I refuse to allow them to put my legal name on there because I do not, healthwise, need a repeat of 5 years ago, when an estranged member of my maternal birth family did find me, did email me and even sent me a letter in the mail, detailing that they knew exactly where I was. I do not need to relive the overwhelming anxiety and resulting depression from that day.

That means my account is currently deactivated. And it will remain so until they say, yes, that is your authentic name, or do away with the farce of a policy entirely.

Facebook is not the end all, be all of promoting online. There are other ways and I just let them slide. So. It's back to blogging regularly, back to Twitter, back to Tumblr, going to Ello and yes, even though Facebook, ironically, owns Instagram where I can use the name I am known by, it means going to Instagram.

The funny thing is, 4 years ago, I didn't even want to join Facebook. I felt I didn't need another social networking site. But then fellow small business owners raved about the views they got from there, and sales, etc, so I gave it a shot. I never got back what I put into it, except in the terms of friends on my personal page, where I was able to reconnect with some who'd left the blogging world for Facebook. It took awhile, because I didn't recognize many of them, because they didn't have the names I'd known them by. That should have been my first and last clue.

I do think that eventually, this real/authentic name policy will come back to bite Facebook and Zuckerberg in the ass. Hopefully in the form of a major lawsuit by a domestic abuse survivor or, at worst case, their family, when their abuser finds them and hurts or, gods forbid, kills them as a result of this bullshit policy.

Because, I do believe that's what it's going to take to get them to wake up.

In the meantime, I will no longer be there.

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