Ahmed Rushdie

An interesting New York Times article about Facebook and people’s identities:

The writer Salman Rushdie hit Twitter on Monday morning with a flurry of exasperated posts. Facebook, he wrote, had deactivated his account, demanded proof of identity and then turned him into Ahmed Rushdie, which is how he is identified on his passport. He had never used his first name, Ahmed, he pointed out; the world knows him as Salman.

The writer Salman Rushdie objected when Facebook tried to use his name as it appeared on his passport, and nowhere else.

Would Facebook, he scoffed, have turned J. Edgar Hoover into John Hoover? …

The Twitterverse took up his cause. Within two hours, Mr. Rushdie gleefully declared victory…

The article then goes on to more broadly discuss real-name requirements imposed by social networks such as Facebook, and some of the implications of these requirements — very interesting. Note the closing paragraph:

Mr. Rushdie, who once lived incognito because of death threats, has more recently been busy revealing himself on Twitter. He had to fight for his online name there as well. An imposter was using the Twitter handle @SalmanRushdie earlier this year, and Mr. Rushdie had to ask the company for help reclaiming it. Now his page bears Twitter’s blue “Verified Account” checkmark and quotes Popeye: “I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam.”

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