Hello SErs! Harmony here. Happy Monday! Today, I am posting about a serious issue that I have experienced recently. Some of you might have noticed that I no longer have any presence on Facebook. That little corner of social media that I spent 4 to 5 years building up. At the last count, I had over 800 followers. That took some doing. And, now … nothing.
Why is that?
Let me explain. I got hacked. So, the first thing I did was to change my password and set up two-factor authentication. All well and good. Then problems hit. Facebook’s two factor broke. It just wouldn’t send me the access codes to my mobile via text SMS. So, in the end, I had to use one of their hundreds of contact forms to ask for help. It took from early Sunday morning to late Monday night to finally get a response and access to my account. And to do that, I had to upload a copy of my passport photo.
All good again? Not quite.
I accessed my account and posted, etc., on Tuesday morning. When I then tried to log in again in the afternoon, this is what I was presented with:
In some perplexity, I followed their FAQ link. This led me — after a long time of searching — to the following:
The URL for this is HERE.
More searching led me to this page:
The URL for this is HERE.
Only then did I realise that I had inadvertently been in violation of Facebook’s name policy. Because I had used an author Pen Name … a pseudonym. I had seen nothing of this when I originally set up my author account as a brand new writer all those years ago.
To date, I have never had a single response from Facebook.
I am locked out for good. Just like that.
They disabled my account without even giving me the chance to change my profile name, had I wanted to. As I mentioned, until all this happened, I had been unaware of the Real Name Policy.
Unless you register a business account, you cannot use anything other than your real name. They will allow you to post an alternate name so long as your profile and every page shows your real name first and foremost and prominently.
I had a business page, my ‘Harmony Kent Author Page’. Unfortunately, this was linked to my personal page (one we all have to set up to open an account on Facebook), which was in the name of Harmony Kent. Not my real name. It seems to go in a circle, as any business page, with a business name, has to also have a personal page with someone’s actual real name on it. Below is a screenshot of a forum explaining all this …
The URL for this page is HERE.
I know a LOT of authors who use pen names on Facebook.
Controversy rages about Facebook’s Real Name Policy. Wikipedia has an interesting article on this subject, which you can find HERE. Had I used my real first name, which is Japanese — even though I’m as English as they come — I would have, no doubt, fallen foul of this policy, as many websites do not recognise my first name as an actual real name. Seriously, I have been prevented from shopping on some sites due to this issue. This leaves me certain that Facebook would have flagged my real name as a fake name.
Other areas affected by this policy would be such things as search engines and your SEO optimisation. You wouldn’t be able to have the same author branding right accross the board, as I did, because Facebook wouldn’t show you as you in your author name guise. It would only flag up your real name. For me, I never wanted to be all over the internet as me personally. I wanted some level of protection … the web has some strange folks on it, sadly. I will say here that had Facebook given me the option to change my profile, instead of just disabling the account and ignoring me, I most likely wouldn’t have wanted my real name on there anyway.
My thoughts on this are that if they truly want to safeguard the community, they should be asking for proof of ID at the point someone tries to set up an account. Not penalise them after years because they’ve only just had to show their ID to recover their account. To me, this seems backwards way on.
What do you think? I’d love you all to weigh in on this one. Were you aware of this rule?