Anti-Terror Tactics: Woman Blocked On Facebook Because Her Real Name Is Isis

ISIS is a notoriously brutal terror group, but it is also a very real name, used by thousands of people in the world. One such person is Isis Anchalee, an engineer based in San Francisco, who had her Facebook account disabled because of her first name.

No doubt everyone is relieved that the social media is taking action to expose terrorist links on their websites, but not, apparently, if your name is actually Isis.

According to the Guardian, Facebook is busy joining the fight against terrorism – “one woman named Isis at a time.” The current Isis is not the only one – it’s reportedly happening a lot these days.

Fortunately for Anchalee, she still has her Twitter account (at least so far), and she headed to Twitter Tuesday complaining that Facebook had blocked her account and suggesting it was because her name is Isis.

She sent a tweet direct to Facebook, asking them why they have disabled her personal account, and saying, “MY REAL NAME IS ISIS ANCHALEE /facepalm.” When friends noticed her account has been marked as spam, she told them “Facebook thinks I’m a terrorist and froze my account.”

Anchalee sent Facebook a screenshot of her passport, proving her birth name truly is Isis, but apparently this didn’t help. They still appeared to think she was a terrorist and her account on the social media platform remained blocked.


According to Iafrica, Anchalee also tweeted a photo of her attempt to log in to Facebook, but the social media company merely said the account was disabled.

It was eight hours later that Facebook researcher Omid Farivar sent the following public tweet to Anchalee, apologizing for the problem, saying he doesn’t know what happened but that he’s reported it to the right people. He added that they are working on fixing the problem.

It seems the popular saying “third time lucky” is right, as after sending her information to Facebook to prove her identity for the third time, her account was finally reactivated.

Reportedly, a Facebook spokesman told the Guardian the account was blocked as part of “a fake account reporting process.” He apologized on behalf of the company saying, “It was not connected to the individual’s name and her account has already been restored.”


As can be seen on Twitter, Anchalee has also had problems with Lyft and Uber drivers’ comments about her name.

Some Twitter users suggested she use a different name, for example IAnchalee, but she asked why should she change her name?

Meanwhile another Isis, with the surname Martinez this time, opened an online petition on the Care2 website, asking the media to “stop calling terrorists [Islamic State] by our name.” The petition reportedly closed on August 24 with 56,843 signatures or the 60,000 hoped for.

While Martinez was grateful for the response and support the petition received, she continued by saying most media outlets “continue to desecrate our name.”

Getting back to Facebook, earlier in 2015, the social media giant set a policy that required people to use their real names on the social media platform. Everyone was told not to use symbols or unusual characters in their account names and not to use religious or professional titles.

It was stressed people shouldn’t use “offensive or suggestive words of any kind” in their account names, and this was reportedly to “keep our community safe.”

As reported in the Inquisitr, Facebook’s “real name” policy caused some upset, as it was deemed to be discriminatory against certain ethnic groups, and Facebook was doing a re-think of its policy due to it being considered a human rights violation.

There were other incidents where women were attempting to hide from abusive former partners by using a fictitious name on Facebook, and were being forced to change to their real name.

In another incident, a woman went to the extreme of changing her name legally to Jemmaroid Von Laalaa, just so she could reopen her Facebook account.

[Photo via Flickr by Katie Sayer / CC BY-SA 2.0]