The original Captain Kirk on “Star Trek” saw his Facebook account reinstated, after the site had pulled it on the presumption of fakery.
William Shatner took his grievance with Facebook to Twitter and that motivated the social network to restore his profile in about an hour.
Facebook abounds with fan pages dedicated to Shatner (who younger folks might only know as the Negotiator in Priceline commercials) explains why such a mistake might happen. However, the site has previously pulled accounts belonging to non-celebrities who happen to share the same names as famous people.
The social network has the best of intentions in trying to stop impostor profiles and pages, given the potential security problems. Facebook now has a law to back up efforts to do away with fakery on the site, which counts as a misdemeanor in California.
However, the legislation prohibits posing as another living person with the objective of causing harm or fraud, while some of the cases of celebrity profiles — versus noncelebrities with the same names — haven’t involved that motive.
How can Facebook improve the way it handles this issue?