Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Salman Rushdie on Facebook

Daniel wrote me to point out a story in the Washington Post about Salman Rushdie having problems with his name on Facebook. They first blocked his account for being a fake, then when he sent them a copy of his passport would only allow him to go under Ahmed Rushdie, his official first name. He then had problems getting technical support. Fortunately for him he has over a hundred thousand followers on Twitter, and managed to cause such a ruckus that Facebook gave in and allowed him to use the name everybody knows him under. They even apologized.

Unfortunately I'm not Salman Rushdie. While his problems with Facebook are very familiar to me, I don't have access to the same sort of solutions. My Tobold account is still blocked. I even failed to delete it, because to delete that account you need to log in. And attempts to get customer support are answered by a canned mail telling me that they won't talk to me until I provide a government photo ID proving that I am Tobold. Which of course is impossible, because Tobold is strictly a pen name, a pseudonym, and not my middle name.

The best Facebook is willing to offer me is to make a Page, with lots of options for making pages for brands, businesses, and even blogs. Unfortunately Facebook this year removed the option to import an RSS feed, so just like with Google+ I would have to add each blog post manually if I wanted it to appear on a social network. I prefer interacting with my readers on my blog itself, and not on a secondary site about my blog.

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