I won. But it is a hollow victory. #MyNameIs

Copy/pasted from what I posted on Facebook-

I'm trying to figure a way to couch this in not quite swear laden terms. This will be *very* long, but *everyone* needs to read it, because it could happen to you and it *is* happening to others. I got lucky.

Essentially, last Monday, Facebook, either through someone reporting my name or their screwy algorithm, decided I was not using my 'authentic' name. I had 7 days to gather documentation and confirm my name.

Only, you don't get to confirm your name. You get to submit all the documentation they claim to accept and then *hope* that some faceless entity at Facebook HQ will approve of the name you choose to go by. You don't get to have your friends vouch for you because they don't get asked. And if you follow the rules as I did and submit documentation they require that shows your birth date, ie, a government issued ID with your legal name on it- which can be very different from an authentic name- then *that* may well be the only thing they look at and they will deny your authentic name and require you to change to that legal name on the id they requested. In fact, they will even change it prior to whether you appeal or go ahead with the change- I received a weekly stats report for my business page with a name on it that has never been associated with that page.

In the meantime, after you've submitted the documentation they require, at the end of the 7 days- to the minute that they first request the confirmation- you *will* lose all access to your personal page. The media is claiming you can still access it. No, you cannot. To rub salt in the wound, you will also, if you set it up that way, receive email notices of friends' posts that you cannot even view.

A little less than 24 hours after I submitted the required 3 pieces of documentation, Facebook emailed me back and denied my authentic name. They claimed it did not match the ID I sent them. They asked if I wanted to change to my legal name, as per the ID. Of course I did not. THIS name is the name I have used since the day I first got online in the mid 1990s, back in North Carolina. It is the name associuated with my business. It is the name 99% of my friends and quite a few members of my family, to include my husband when he introduces me to new people, calls and knows me by. It is the name that the estranged members of my maternal birth family cannot find me under- had one track me down about 5 years ago and I do not want to relive that experience. There are many friends here with whom has experienced Alzheimer's in their family and we tend to rely on each other for support sometimes- Facebook cut me off from that. Facebook cut me off from family members I otherwise don't get to interact with often. Facebook cut me off from friends whom I've known since 1992 (I'm looking at you, Ackerly).

I sent them *more* documentation, 3 pages of cut and pasted screenshots from various places I use this name online, showing length of use, birth date, etc. It was not enough. They denied it again, out of hand.

I then sent them- as Mark called it- a very impassioned letter stating that this was unacceptable and that they *do not* get to take my name from me. I also included roughly 2 dozen or more pages of documentation- those same screenshots that I'd cut and pasted into 3 pages. As my brother said in a comment here- they picked the wrong person.

I'm not sure which did it- the letter calling them out or the mounds of documentation. But they confirmed my name and gave me access back to my page.

However, I found this entire experience to be horrifying, demeaning and invasive. It stressed me out, made me depressed and gave me anxiety induced insomnia. As a result of this experience, Facebook has soured for me. For the forseeable future, this will be my last post here. I will be disconnecting Twitter so it no longer crossposts. My blog rarely does, so no worries there.

This should *not* have happened in the first place. And yet, it is happening to someone, right now and they may not be as lucky as me and have 20+ years of documentation to back themselves up. This policy of using authentic names and then accepting it when Facebook is presented with the proper documentation, repeatedly, until either the person wins or they give up, needs to stop.

They tried to take my name from me. I won. But someone else won't be as lucky.

Enough is enough.



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