In an ironic twist of Facebook’s own policies, a man was told that he can’t use his real name on the platform. This is odd, considering that Facebook is serious about people only using their real name, sometimes forcing users to upload pictures of government ID in order to enforce this rule. However, it turns out that if your name is deemed “inappropriate” or “offensive” by the company, that you have to use a fake name just to stay on the platform. This was the case for Luc Anus, who hails from Belgium. He’s currently running for a position on the council in Lobbes, and perhaps his 15-minutes of fame will help him win the election.
When asked about the ban, this is what Luc said, according to the Guardian.
“Facebook just does not accept my name. I can deal with it but I can understand that people who are weaker have a hard time with bullying.”
So now, instead of using his real name, Luc has opted for “Luc Anu.” He shares his last name with at least 48 others, who all live in the Wallonia region of Belgium, described the Daily Mail. And while it appears that Luc isn’t interested in bringing up whether the move is legal or not, German courts are already one step ahead of the game.
This young Belgian politician, 26 years old, can barely run his campaign for local office, because he's called Luc Anus. On Facebook he has to call himself Luc Anu, because Facebook doesn't accept his name.https://t.co/njc5fOLGXV
— Heywoodu U. Cuddleme (@heywoodu) September 21, 2018
Back in February, a German court ruled that Facebook’s real name policy is illegal, detailed PC Mag. This was based on the idea that Facebook’s use of personal data is not legal, and that requiring people to use their real names was “a covert way” to gain access to people’s personal information. However, it doesn’t seem like this ruling has had, or will have, any impact on Facebook’s real-name policy.
When it rains, it pours. Facebook reveals that if your account was impacted in the massive data breach, a hacker could have accessed any account you log into using Facebook https://t.co/ZRoJweJ4MN
— WIRED (@WIRED) September 29, 2018
On the other hand, according to Facebook’s website, your name can’t include “Offensive or suggestive words of any kind,” while at the same time, it says that “The name on your profile should be the name that your friends call you in everyday life. This name should also appear on an ID or document from our ID list.”
The rule only becomes relevant if your profile is reported as using a fake name. At that time, you may have to provide certain pieces of information. The first ID list includes government-provided documents like birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and passports. If you don’t want to send Facebook these highly sensitive documents, they give you the option of sending two different pieces of information, which can include a bank statement, check, or credit card. The platform says you should cover up any irrelevant or personal data when sharing the documents, and that they delete the information when they’re done verifying your identity.
Unfortunately for Luc, it doesn’t look like Facebook cares if his name is real or not. So for now, he’s “Luc Anu.”