After 5 years of using Facebook they've decided to suspend my account. Not for spam, not for nudity, not for threats. No, but because Das Santos is not my real full name. "D.A.S." are the initials to my full name and Santos, is of course my real last name.
Five years ago when I first joined Facebook, people were going nuts about identity theft and several news outlets advised everyone not to put their real names anywhere on the internet. Facebook is the only social network that forces you to put your real name. They also ask for birth date, birth city, current city etc. While most of those are voluntary to put on your profile. Your real name is really where identity thieves begin and is what Facebook forces you to put. A study done by Carnegie Mellon showed that by placing where you where born along with your full name, can give thieves enough info to figure out you social security numbers. Facebook talks to much about ways you can protect your privacy and you can...as long as you use your real name!
Through the years Facebook was known as "StalkerBook." Since you are forced into using your real name it made it easy for stalkers, ex boyfriends or girlfriends, ex friends, unwanted relatives, employees and enemies to find you. Here is part of what facebook said to me.
We require everyone to provide their real first and last names and real birthday so you always know who you're connecting with.
Das is my nickname and in the five years I have used Facebook, no one has ever had trouble finding me. In fact using Facebook under "Das Santos" has helped people find me. Type in David Santos in Facebook and I can guarantee you will never find me, because there are hundreds of people with that name. But I am the only Das Santos. frankly, if they don't know who their connecting with, why are the even adding me as a friend?
If I want my account back I need to provide proof:
Some examples of acceptable documents include:
- School or work ID
- Utility bill
- Marriage license
- Legal name change paperwork
- Credit card (with the number blacked out)
- Birth certificate
Really Facebook? I want to open up my account up, not run for office! The proof would be to change my page name to "David Santos" not "Das Santos"
So people say. "Why not put your real name? After all you use it for your website." Yes, but I have no other information about me on this website. You don't see my friends, family, girlfriend, location, birth date, recent activity, websites I browse etc. While this website carries my real name, it's more private than my Facebook. Point is. I used my name as the website url for business reasons and it was a voluntary one. Facebook makes it mandatory. Also, you only see my middle initial here. Facebook doesn't allow initials they require full names.
There are stories of people with real names getting their accounts deleted or blocked for the same reason. Facebook does not ask for proof of the name being false but instead demand proof that it is real! Myspace was more free for usernames and again makes me wish they were still around. Privacy issues with Facebook has been an issue they have had to deal with for years and they have done everything they can to help us feel safer....except when it comes to the names we use. Are we safe on Facebook? No and we may never be until Facebook gives us the freedom to use whatever name we want.
I have managed to convince Facebook of my real name without showing proof. However, they changed my Facebook name to my real full name after I specifically told them not to in my email! To add matters worse, they have blocked my ability to edit my name.