Facebook Quietly Deletes ‘Cosplay’ Profiles

By David Cohen 

Should Facebook warn owners of profiles that violate its terms of service, such as those without users’ real names, before deleting them? Several “cosplay” enthusiasts who woke up Tuesday morning to find that their profiles on the social network had vanished think so.

The Daily Dot reported that dozens of profiles containing “Cosplay” in their account names were disabled Tuesday morning. Cosplay refers to the art of dressing up and performing as a character.

Washington, D.C.-area cosplayer Iggy Tissera lost his Iggy Cosplay Facebook profile, telling The Daily Dot that while he knew that using an alias violates Facebook’s terms of service, he received no warning from the social network before the account was deleted.

Tissera told The Daily Dot he kept separate Facebook profiles to distinguish between his personal life and professional life and hobby, adding:

Essentially, anyone who used the word “cosplay” in their account name had their profiles disabled. I know of a few people who only used Facebook for costuming, and they’ve been completely erased now.

I would estimate (that I had) about 3,000 friends or so on the costuming account. Most were people who liked the characters I cosplayed, but a handful of them were other cosplayers I’ve met at conventions, professional photographers, artists, event coordinators. It was an incredibly valuable networking tool that was just stripped away without warning.

Other than not using a real name, my account did not violate any other Facebook terms of use. Having an account for a costuming alias, as opposed to a fan page, was much more personable.

Facebook responded to The Daily Dot by saying that it would not comment on particular accounts or situations, but profiles that have been reported or detected for policy violations, including the use of fake names, are subject to deletion.

Readers: Do you think Facebook should have given the cosplayers a chance to alert their friends that they were being forced to switch from profiles to pages, or are the cosplayers at fault for knowingly violating the social network’s rules?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.