Facebook Tells Salman Rushdie He Has to Go By His Given Name, Ahmed Rushdie

By Alexis C. Madrigal
ahmed-rushdie.jpg

This is the sort of thing that makes you wonder what real names policy is all about. Today on Twitter, Salman Rushdie detailed his adventures with Facebook's name police.

"Amazing. 2 days ago FB deactivated my page saying they didn't believe I was me. I had to send a photo of my passport page. THEN... they said yes, I was me, but insisted I use the name Ahmed which appears before Salman on my passport and which I have never used," Rushdie wrote. "NOW... They have reactivated my FB page as 'Ahmed Rushdie,' in spite of the world knowing me as Salman. Morons."

You know, Ahmed Rushdie, world-famous author of The Satanic Verses and Midnight's Children.

Seriously, what is the point of forcing Salman Rushdie to go by Ahmed Rushdie? How does this benefit the social web?


Update (1:46pm): Our collective exasperation worked! Facebook, in Rushdie's words, "buckled." He will be Salman Rushdie again.

Update (2:15pm): Facebook has responded officially. "This action was taken in error," they say, "and Mr. Rushdie's account has been reactivated with the correct name. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
" That would be in accord with their policy to let people go by their middle names.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/11/facebook-tells-salman-rushdie-he-has-to-go-by-his-given-name-ahmed-rushdie/248446/