Saturday, May 14, 2011

Facebook: Inauthentic Name - Temporary Block


Yesterday, when I tried to log-in to Facebook, I realized I couldn't - for one of the first times in almost four years online with this social network thingy.

When I do try to log-in, I get a very interesting message.

It comes up with the enticing headline "Inauthentic Name - Temporary Block", then tells me in finer print that "Unfortunately, the name you entered was not approved by our system. Please wait 10 minutes and then try again." Having waited 15 minutes (that extra five as a buffer), I followed this sage advice, and got the same message again - this time with the warning that "Please note that if your next attempt is also unsuccessful, your account may be disabled."

I then waded through the maze that is Facebook Help, and finally discovered a portal via which to contact them, explaining that this is my real name, and not in fact inauthentic as the system now seems to believe.

I received this automated response: "Your account has been temporarily suspended because your profile does not list your real name. Facebook requires all members to provide their real first and last names."

Which is weird, because my name is Andrez Bergen, and that's the moniker I use on Facebook.

I don't remember having to provide legal proof or ID in order to first join Facebook three or four years ago, so I tested the waters on this and just went and signed up under an alias - and, hey presto! No problem. Easy as cooking boiled eggs.

Also, if they're so strict about real names being used, how come there are so many completely obvious aliases allowed on Facebook for DJs and band members? So, I read the automated email further and it says:

"Nicknames can be used, but only if they are a variation on your real first or last name, such as 'Bob' instead of 'Robert'. Which is, I guess, what 'Andrez' is - a nickname variant of 'Andrew' from when I was a teenager that I've adopted on a permanent professional basis in journalism, music and for my novel. I also have it on all my business cards - copies of which I sent through to Facebook.

This morning a real person, Pat, wrote back from Facebook but in no less automated a manner. She didn't address me personally, and added that "the only way we will be able to verify ownership of this account is if you reply to this email with an attached color image of your government-issued photo identification confirming your full name and date of birth. Rest assured that we will permanently delete your ID card from our servers once we have used it to verify the authenticity of your account."

Which prompted me to contact the Australian Embassy here in Tokyo - who strongly recommended against my sending any photo of my passport to anyone on the Internet due to concerns of fraud. I'd agree with that.

So I've contacted Facebook once again, advising this and again sending copies of my business cards to show that 'Andrez Bergen' is no sham moniker. It would be great to understand why I'm suddenly, without warning, being forced to prove my identity after more than three years on Facebook, and even when I do try to do so they decline to believe me.

All of this probably sounds like a complete waste of time (it does to me!), but I use this account not only in relation to my journalism work and for networking in business, but with friends and family on the other side of the world - who'll be even more unnecessarily worried on top of the ongoing concerns about earthquakes and the nuclear problems at Fukushima power plant.

Start from scratch with a new account?

Sounds tempting, but I put so much effort and time into the existing one, and when there's a cause to fight against a pig-headed bureaucracy, I can't help myself. No doubt I'll lose, but I'll go down fighting in an equally pig-headed manner! ;)

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey- same problem for me today, and my surname is the same as yours.

NO WAY is facebook getting a copy of any photo ID.

What's the plot, anyway? said...

Now THAT'S weird - same surname? Maybe some weird Facebook plot against the Bergens of the world...? ;) Yep, don't send them photo ID. The Aussie Embassy was adamant about that.

Antony said...

I had my last name as my producer name for ages and never had a problem ?

AstroNerdBoy said...

I think this is an over-reaction on Facebook's part to the many bots that register on the site to spam people as well as the many game accounts people have so that they can protect their privacy while playing stupid Facebook games. They are basically killing their own site with their stupidity.

What's the plot, anyway? said...

Yeah, it's really weird. They still haven't bothered to get back to me with any explanation or further advice, and I'm still locked out of my account. I really don't want to give them the passport info, but I don't want to start a new account - I have several Facebook pages (like the ones for Little Nobody and the novel) and I'll be locked out of these if I start afresh on Facebook. Man, what an annoying pain! ;)

llewellyn said...

Got locked out of my acount 3 years ago with little or no decent help from facebungle.So I no longer bother with them, just run a couple of blogs for those that need to contact me.E-mail still works.

What's the plot, anyway? said...

Well, looks like I'm out in the cold as well - I haven't received any response at all from Facebook despite several attempts by me to clear this up, along with proof of my ID.

What's the plot, anyway? said...

Well, the bout is over. It wasn't really good clean fun at all, and I didn't really stand a chance, but I gave it my best shot.
Facebook refuses to budge and I'm not allowed to use "Andrez Bergen" despite my proof of professional use of this name for 20 years. They're insisting I use what's on my birth certificate, which is Andrew Bergen.
Anyway, I'm tired of the whole thing and accepted their terms. So if you see some Andrew poking around, it's me! ;)
Pffft.

Anonymous said...

I'm locked out as well, same messages. Im using my real legal name for my account. I have no idea how to talk to facebook?

What's the plot, anyway? said...

Damn, sorry to hear - it seems to be happening left, right and centre at the moment. This is the email I was given, although they rarely respond: info+uizc6u2@support.facebook.com
...good luck!

Jeffrey said...

I swear Facebook is actually run by Microsoft. There can't be any other explanation as to why its software is so buggy.

Anonymous said...

I'm the other inauthentic Bergen.
I received a humble apology by email and reinstatment by facebook today. It was even signed by an apparently real person. Nice to virtually exist again.

Andrez Bergen said...

Ha Ha Ha... well done, the other Bergen! Facebook apologized to me too (facelessly tho'), and I have to comtinue using "Andrew" but can stick "(Andrez)" in brackets in my moniker. Sigh. ;)

Anonymous said...

omgg thiss iss somee shitt damnn facebook iss myy lifee ndd just becuzz thats not r real namee thats fucked upp

Phat Le Nguyen said...

Hey, Andrez. So you get your account back again? How did you do that? Which email did you send to? My name is Phat and I'm from Vietnam. I was disabled like you just yesterday and didn't seem to regain it again. So please help me and tell me how! It would be my golden pleasure! Thank you very much, Andrez.

Aishwary said...

hey guys..!!
my name is Aishwary (dats my real name) and has been using it from last 2 years now..!!
i last used my facebook account last night..!!
but when i tried to login today i received the same message..!!
then to get rid off it...i searched the whole facebook help center..but got no way to contact them.>!!
tell me what to do next..!!

Anonymous said...

Hey - I was getting the same strange message, so I googled it and got this blog. I really didn't want my account to be disabled, so I thought really hard about it.

Actually what happened was that my brother started the account under his name (Will Sullens - very normal American name!). And I started playing games on his account. Then he got busy with work and he let me take over so that.....I can play more games. So all I did was change the name to mine - Sarah Sullens - and thats what prompted this whole thing.

I guess FB could see that "Sarah" & "Will's email" don't really match up. I ended up using Will's name again, and I'm back to gaming. But it won't ever let me change the name on it again.

Stupid FB.....the people should rule it.

Anonymous said...

Happened to me today i have no clue what to do ive been emailing them and i dont even get an automated reply back please help facebook youve really effed up this time

Anonymous said...

Now I get a message that Facebook wants a phone number to verify the account, but it cannot be the same number as anyone else's! So if you don't have a personal mobile phone, or if you share a phone number with someone, you will also be at risk of getting locked out of your account!

Anonymous said...

The same thing happend to me bbut my name is issiee babbe a nickname i was given to how long does the subitmting thing take..im locked out of my account since yesterday night.I had so much on their. Im about to cry :/

Kandimba said...

I logged in in another computer...got the same message.

I used by real name and was able to log in. I hate it though.

kristofferson paunil said...

had the same prob, but in just one day my account went back and got IN! go here http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=auth_appeal
BUT THE THING, you need to really comply the ID thingy. yes, i applauded mine. and im good!!
they replied:
It looks like your account was suspended by mistake. I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. You should now be able to log in. If you have any issues getting back into your account, please let me know.

thats it!! case solve!

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem. But I dont wanna send my ID card to FB. FB is not my bank, police... I want my profile again.
Please if anyone know answer....

Anonymous said...

This is a social media network.
The benefits of this media hardly advocate the worth of showing them your government official ID.

You're not operating a vehicle nor are you, consuming alcoholic beverages to use it.

They're simply attempting to enforce real names with their timeline nonsense.

The downside is that their service's popularity came from ease of use.

Should i need to network Myspace will suffice, facebook aided in socializing however with their latest restrictions to privacy circumventing communication between users its becoming less and less effective in terms of networking.

Society is becoming beridden with the need for information that they generally should not have access to.

A simple exchange of a gift from 1 colour to the next involved me giving out my exact address, phone number, postal code, and Full Name.

This was after providing a receipt which is proves that i bought the confounded thing no less than 20 minutes ago.

I'm mildly grateful for what facebook offered me once upon a time but now the love affair is apparently over. This will most likely be the 2nd account they'll delete with little reason save "we want to delete your account, again."

Robin said...

I am also having the same problem, but not got as far as contacting them yet. I think this is total bullshit, who the hell do facebook think they are? I wouldn't send them any ID, why should I have to prove who I am, its an account on a website FFS. Also how can ANY name, real or otherwise be "invalid". I could change my name to "His Royal Highness The King of Pontypandy Kerplunk Kerplunk" I'd have to be a bit nuts to do that, but you see my point.

I've been playing around with Diaspora recently, and this is FB giving me yet another reason to think that's the way forward.

Whysper said...

Same exact issue...I was just on Facebook last night and, *pop*, this fell into my lap when I attempted to log in.

I have been looking at Diaspora, also! I just signed up about an hour ago, actually, and it's quite interesting. Very convenient, and you can link your other social media accounts to it. Signing up wasn't a hassle, either. All I had to do was type my name, email, create a username, and a password, then link it to my facebook account.

Basically, with the whole 'inauthentic name' thing, if there is anyone on facebook whom you do not have blocked, that may not be very fond of you, they have to option to report your name as false. I have acquired the knowledge that this is what happened to me in particular. It takes two seconds for them to do, and is quite common, apparently.

miklos said...

This just happened to me today... http://www.miklos.ca/log/2013/02/facebook-inauthentic-name-temporary-block.html

Anonymous said...

Hey, facebook is cucking big time now. Happened to me too. I am happy that it is dying.

Arshad meer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

same problem i got, as a proov id i tried to upload my driving licence jpg image but wot the hell that file is fail to attach or upload properly that i can send it
any tip plz.....

Ed Ward, MD said...

Fascist Facebook Lying Scamming Scumbags Say What? Ed Ward FB Account Suspended http://edwardmd.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/fascist-facebook-lying-scamming-scumbags-say-what-ed-ward-fb-account-suspended/

Anonymous said...

FACEBOOK are full of shit !!!!