When it Comes to Names, Facebook Doesn’t Play Around
Facebook has reportedly erased the profile of a woman who goes by the name of Nakedjen. The Data Portability Blog points to her story of having her account deleted just because of her name.
Nakedjen is a blogger, and a quick look at her blog doesn’t reveal anything particularly offensive. Granted, I have not seen her Facebook profile, but she feels that she in no way violated Facebook’s terms of service. She talks a bit about her history with Facebook:
I have actually been a member of Facebook since its inception. This is because the boys who created Facebook were also funded by Draper, Fisher, Jurvetson in their earliest days and so was the company that I was working for at the same time. As such we were all moving in the very same small little circles in Silicon Valley and I signed up more as a favor than for any other reason. I already had my blog and was already part of Linked-In. I really didn’t feel I needed to belong to yet another Social Network. However, again, there was the whole DFJ connection and I was being nice.
I signed up as Nakedjen. I made friends and connections as Nakedjen. It follows that I would be Nakedjen on Facebook as I am on every other social networking platform because Nakedjen is my name. It is not because I am a porn star. It is not because I am trying to attract the notice of the porn industry. It is not because I am single and hoping to find a naked boyfriend. No, again, it is simply because my name is and has been for quite some time, Nakedjen.
Now Facebook has evidently yanked her account without warning, and has provided no explanation other than "you must have violated the terms of service." This kind of reminds me of the fiasco last summer, when a Japanese woman named Hiroko Yoda was blocked from signing up for Facebook because she had a similar name to a famous green star-muppet. Even though, there were clearly other people on the Yoda Train:
Facebook has said before that it wants people to use their real names, and that is understandable, but it is obvious that cases (like Yoda) will come up and require a re-examination of policies. And what about people like NakedJen who have been using the name since the beginning. She has something of a brand invested in that name by now. Is Facebook right to suddenly get rid of it after all this time? Perhaps a request to change it (at the very least) would have been in order.