If you run a personal Facebook page with the word “cosplay” in it, there’s a good chance your account has been suspended or may be suspended in the near future.
Cosplayers who operate Facebook accounts under their given cosplay name for their characters are reporting the sudden removal of their profiles. The mass takedown was first reported by nerd lifestyle magazine Nerd Caliber, who claimed that anyone and everyone with the word “cosplay” in their profile name is vulnerable.
To be clear, it seems like the purge is happening to personal accounts, not fan pages.
Facebook enforces a real name policy, and states in their terms that they have the right to remove accounts that violate this:
Facebook users provide their real names and information, and we need your help to keep it that way. Here are some commitments you make to us relating to registering and maintaining the security of your account:
You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission, [and] you will not create more than one personal account.
In their Help Center, Facebook elaborates, saying that a personal account may be removed due to “use of a fake name” or “impersonation of a person or entity, or other misrepresentation of identity.”
So, many cosplayers on Facebook are beginning to migrate their cosplay personas to fan pages, where they should be able to assume any identity they please. The Daily Dot spoke to one such user, Iggy Tissera, whose personal page “Iggy Cosplay” was just removed. ““Essentially, anyone who used the word ‘Cosplay’ in their account name had their profiles disabled. I know of a few people who only used Facebook for costuming and they’ve been completely erased now,” he said.
He’s since started up an Iggy Cosplay fan page, but his nearly 3,000 friends have been reduced to only 100 or so “likes.” He claims that the account removal came without any warning from Facebook. Whether or not Facebook failed to warn Tissera and others or they simply missed the warning it unknown. Facebook does warn users when their account is in violation of the terms or if they’ve posted content that’s been removed.
I’ve reached out to Facebook for comment, and will update this article accordingly.