You might not be aware, but Facebook is starting to enforce a ‘real name’ policy – I’d heard rumblings about this before, but didn’t really pay much attention until it affected me.
A few weeks ago, I was trying to use the Facebook App on my phone one evening, and everything I tried made it crash – it was a little confusing, but I just ignored it and went to bed.
It wasn’t until the next morning when I tried to look at Facebook on my computer that I discovered what the problem was.. My name! I was told to enter my ‘Real’ Name.
So I filled in my Forename – Kip and my Surname – Hakes.
That’s my REAL name.
Facebook said No – ‘Your Name Wasn’t Approved’
I was a little baffled – Kip Hakes IS my name – it’s on my Passport, my Driving Licence and well, pretty much everything I have document wise!
There was an option to contact support, and I clicked on that, for it to take me to the Facebook login screen – I signed in, only to be told my account was blocked because of my name! So I tried via my phone, attempting to update my name again, and the same thing happened..
I was stuck, I couldn’t login because of my name, and I couldn’t contact support because that required me to login – which I couldn’t.
I had an idea – add a middle name – hopefully I’d just be able to hide it..
So I changed my name again – Forename – Kip / Middle Name – Christopher and my Surname – Hakes.
Nope – Facebook said No – ‘Your Name Wasn’t Approved’
Again stuck in the ‘contact support’ / Login Loop.
Then I gave it one last try, add BOTH my middle names – it seemed ridiculous, but, surely that would work?
So I changed my name again – Forename – Kip / Middle Name – Christopher James and my Surname – Hakes.
It worked!! Having three names for some reason deemed my name acceptable to Facebook, and I was able to login once again and use my account, but other the rather pretentious guise of ‘Kip Christopher James Hakes’.
I understand the idea behind a real name policy, but kicking out people without any kind of warning, or any way of resolving issues is ridiculous! To get my ‘real name’ back now, I have to send Facebook a copy of my driving licence or passport and wait for it to be sorted. I’m finding myself less and less enamoured with Facebook theses days, so I’ll probably do that at some point, but for now I’ve got my ridiculously long name on there!