There I was, minding my own business and scrolling through my facebook newsfeed when all of a sudden, the screen blanks out and the “log in to continue” prompt appears. Upon attempting to do so, I see that facebook has decided my stage name is no longer acceptable, despite the fact that I have used the same one for years. There is no way around it. I am simply offered a box to change my name and refused entry into my account until I do so. I have looked for email addresses to contact. No dice. All emails come back with the message “You have reached us at a channel we no longer support.” I attempted to use the form to report that an account has been disabled by mistake because of various reasons, one being the name. It took me 2 DAYS to find this form. I filled it out and attached myriad proof that I am known by the name on the account as a musician and artist. When I pressed “send”, I received an error saying that the account is not technically disabled and therefore I could not send the form. There is no working phone number to call. There is no one to appeal to. I either have to use my real name and attach proof of ID or my professional presence on facebook has effectively been terminated. They claim a person can use a stage persona but there is no way to get in touch with them to fix it! This is an intentional loophole they’ve provided themselves to force users to either provide their state ID or provide their real names.
Facebook has created an unsafe, hostile and dangerous environment for women and other at risk groups. It is no longer a place where people can interact freely as they choose. Many will simply choose to abandon the website and everything they have put into it rather than face the danger. I cannot say I blame them. Simply holding all someone’s content hostage until they provide a photo ID is absolutely despicable. What is to stop them from doing this to everybody? After all, how do they know you are who you say you are? They don’t until you show them your ID. This is akin to harassment and it has to stop. Facebook needs to start caring about women and it’s at risk community.