Facebook purges fake names, and some real ones

Posted on May 27, 2009


Facebook has been recently purging its database of obviously ‘fake’ users who have signed up with fake names. The idea is that Facebook wants to keep its database of users pure, so that only real people exist, with real identities (something has plagued MySpace for many years).

However, the good intentions Facebook has have fallen short as some unfortunate real people have suffered Facebook’s deletion policy. One woman, Alicia Istanbul, found her account deleted after Facebook deemed her name ‘fake’ and thus her Facebook account fake, despite the fact that she is real, has been on Facebook since 2007 and has over 300 friends.

Istanbul understands what Facebook has tried to do but is angry that she received no warning.

They should at least give you a warning, or at least give you the benefit of the doubt. I was on it all day. I had built my entire social network around it. That’s what Facebook wants you to do.

Facebook has attempted to control the sorts of names that people can sign up with since it opened to the masses from being solely for college students. Obviously fake names like Batman are banned, as are names that are topical, such as the Britain’s Got Talent singer Susan Boyle.

This has of course also meant that real Susan Boyle’s (as there are many) are finding it difficult to sign up to Facebook.

Barry Schnitt from Facebook said that mistakes involving real accounts being deleted are very rare, but they do happen.

The vast, vast, vast majority of people we disable we never hear from again.

Have you had any problems with your Facebook account?


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