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[liberationtech] Can anyone help me get my account unblocked on Facebook?!

Heather Akers-Healy hrahhrah at gmail.com
Sat Jul 4 09:57:22 PDT 2015


Steve, I don't expect a public reply to the comments I'm writing below, but
perhaps internally at FB you might make some headway.

You write:

"Regardless, for future reference, under "Option 2" there is a set of
acceptable forms of ID that are not government issued:
https://www.facebook.com/help/159096464162185

For example, a "membership card" with your birthdate and a piece of mail
would suffice."

An activist using a pseudonym on Facebook and working in a country or
situation where it is dangerous to reveal their identity would be smart to
not have *any* personally identifying information tied to their account at
all. Facebook would do well to get rid of any name or identity requirements
and instead focus on how users are behaving. Reporting based solely on
behavior can still be abused so there should be some threshold to meet
before an account is suspended. Facebook is a large, profitable company.
Surely they can afford to beef up the staff handling account suspensions so
that more actual human review takes place *before* situations like these
occur.

On Fri, Jul 3, 2015 at 7:54 PM, Steve Weis <steveweis at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello Inna. I work at Facebook and have contacted you from my work account.
>
> I'm not in a position to discuss the merits of the policy.
>
> Regardless, for future reference, under "Option 2" there is a set of
> acceptable forms of ID that are not government issued:
> https://www.facebook.com/help/159096464162185
>
> For example, a "membership card" with your birthdate and a piece of mail
> would suffice.
>
> On Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 8:57 PM, Inna Malina <p.inna at lycos.com> wrote:
>
>>  I am a Ukrainian Canadian activist and my country of origin is at war.
>> I created several groups on Facebook, including Russian Speaking Canada for
>> Peace, a political forum, which debunks Kremlin run propaganda, and has
>> over 1800 members. I also run fundraisers on Facebook to help orphaned
>> children evacuated from war-torn areas of Ukraine. I am on Facebook since
>> 2007 and don’t pretend to be someone I am not: the birthday, contact info,
>> photos are all mine and my friends know who I am. When Russia invaded and
>> annexed Ukrainian territory Crimea, I changed my legal last name to a
>> pseudonym, to protect my family and people I work with outside social media
>> from bullying by Putin supporters, since the threats and bullying online
>> were/are abundant.
>>
>> Yesterday, on Canada Day, Facebook blocked my account (obviously
>> following a report from someone who tries to stop my activism) and demanded
>> to confirm my name by submitting my ID online. Instead of ID I submitted a
>> letter saying that I get regular threats and feel rather uncomfortable
>> sending my identification documents via insecure online channels. I did add
>> that I can show them to a legitimate representative or even in Skype, but
>> they can’t expect a photocopy of a driving license or social insurance card
>> to be e-mailed or submitted through some suspicious form online.
>>
>> Only last month Facebook has come under fire for biased political
>> blocking of accounts of Russian opposition and Ukrainian activists who are
>> constantly cyber-attacked by the paid army of Putin trolls. The petition,
>> which has already collected close to 15000 signatures, states:  “Facebook
>> indiscriminately reacts to these reports by blocking the accounts of
>> prominent Ukrainian public figures and Russian dissenters. Lately, the bans
>> have become so frequent that we can now claim that Facebook has become an
>> efficient tool of the Kremlin.”
>> https://www.change.org/p/facebook-stop-political-blocking-on-facebook
>>
>>
>>
>> Facebook "real name" policy has also come under scrutiny multiple times
>> and has been called discriminatory. Petition by performers, which collected
>> over 40000 signatures asserts:  “Facebook tells us that "it looks like
>> you're not using your real name," before requiring us to change it. We
>> cannot emphasize enough that Facebook is a poor arbiter of what is or isn't
>> a "real name." Performers with legitimate-appearing names get locked out of
>> their accounts while people with account names like "Jane
>> ICanBeBadAllByMyself Doe" go without scrutiny.”
>> https://www.change.org/p/facebook-allow-performers-to-use-their-stage-names-on-their-facebook-accounts
>> People using aboriginal names were discriminated by Facebook too.
>> http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/facebook-flags-aboriginal-names-as-not-authentic-1.2970993
>>
>> Just few days back, on June 30, Zuckerberg explained: “If your friends
>> all call you by a nickname and you want to use that name on Facebook, you
>> should be able to do that,” he said. In this case, he said, the policy
>> “should be able to support everyone using their own real names, including
>> everyone in the transgender community.”
>>
>> So it is not clear anymore, is Zuckerberg lying to Facebook users or is
>> he simply ignorant of what his staff does. *When will Facebook start
>> treating its users with basic respect, when will it stop political blocking
>> and discrimination?*
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
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>
>
> --
> Liberationtech is public & archives are searchable on Google. Violations
> of list guidelines will get you moderated:
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