Facebook Deletes Native American, Greek Profiles: Petitions Circulated

Have you heard that Facebook is deleting profiles for using funny names? This may sound like old news, but the problem is ongoing — and it is happening to more minority groups.

So far, no matter who is involved, few Facebook users find the practice of deleting an account for not using their birth certificate-assigned name acceptable. This includes those that use an alias for creative performance (such as magicians and drag queens). For this reason, it is easy to understand why Facebook users did not appreciate learning that Native Americans and Greek Orthodox Clergy were having their accounts deleted for supposed profile name policy violations.

In October 2014, the Atlantic printed an article stating that Facebook would ease their policies on profile names — and stop deleting so many accounts. Although the issue was thought to be taken care of, clearly Facebook is still beating the same drum.

The Lakota Country Times posted on Facebook, on April 7, a link to a petition on Change.org to ask Facebook to discontinue the practice of deleting user accounts for using Native American names. In the comments about the petition, one Facebook user says, “Yep, just went through a war of words with them, sent them a copy of my license and they stopped. racists. [sic]”

Another user comments on the Lakota Country Times Facebook post saying, “My last name is Two Bulls. They will not let my family space our last name as it should be. Facebook needs to get with the times! Natives still exist!”

A third person voices similar frustrations about Facebook’s name policy and says, “I wasn’t allowed to use my Native name. Facebook said I didn’t have permission. So I use my name in parenthesis.”

The second group that is currently at odds with Facebook’s profile name policy is the Greek Orthodox Church. The Greek Reporter states, “Although they are known by their clergical names, Facebook has recently begun demanding religious figures on the network i.e., those known as Priest, Abbot, Monk, Nun, Abbess, Brother, etc. to use their legal names on their Facebook profile.”

The Greek Reporter goes on to quote Abbot Tryphon, a monk, as saying, “It is time to tell Facebook their policy has gone too far… It may be difficult to believe, but Facebook has become an essential tool in fulfilling my ministry.”

Abbot Tryphon goes on to say that people feel “Facebook is often the only way they feel comfortable reaching out.” Abbot Tryphon also mentions that these Facebook users contact people like him for “guidance” with “facing bullying, abuse, addiction, and other hardships.”

If you want to tell Facebook that deleting profiles for Native Americans or the Greek Orthodox Clergy is wrong, sign the petitions. The Greek Orthodox Clergy petition is here and the Native American names petition is here.

[Featured image via Getty Images]