The Telegraph reports the 30-year-old went as far as changing her legal name in efforts to keep her account.
In 2008, Jemma opened an account under the pseudonym Jemmaroid Von Laalaa. She didn’t want to receive friend requests from people she didn’t know or past acquaintances. “So many people set up accounts in fake names so random people can’t add them, or so they don’t have to awkwardly decline requests from people they know, but don’t want to be ‘friends’ with,” said Rogers.
For years things appeared to be OK until recently, when the social media giant suspended her account — prompting Rogers to file a legal document that would change her name to her pseudonym. Ironically, her legal name change and new documents proving her identity weren’t enough to re-open her account. So she’s stuck with the name, but she can’t access her account!
Facebook’s rules on users changing their name have come under fire as some, like Rogers, feel it’s unfair. Their policy states the following:
“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. This helps keep our community safe.”
This has prompted members of the LGBT community to gather at Facebook headquarters in hopes to change policies on using real names. Many believe their strict rules that prohibit the use of names other than legal ones pose a safety issue to those who feel certain anonymity is necessary. Unless users can provide proof of their identity, their accounts will be suspended or even deleted.
“I want to apologize to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender and extensive community of our friends, neighbors and members of the LGBT community for the hardship that we’ve put you through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks,” Chris Cox, Facebook chief product officer wrote in a statement last year. “The stories of mass impersonation, trolling, domestic abuse and higher rates of bullying and intolerance are oftentimes the result of people hiding behind fake names, and it’s both terrifying and sad. Our ability to successfully protect against them with this policy has borne out the reality that this policy, on balance, and when applied carefully, is a very powerful force for good.”
Changing your name for the sake of keeping a Facebook account active seems a bit much. Aside from safety issues or promoting a business, why go through so much effort — especially when it impacts the rest of your life? If you don’t want people to find you, change your privacy settings. Then again, it does seem like a one-size-fits-all approach to name changes can hurt those in a particular community.
Should Facebook make amendments to their policy, or is having a social media account not worth the hassle?