Users whose names don’t meet Facebook’s guidelines are being temporarily denied access to their accounts. Upon logging in, these users are warned to change to a full first and last name without special characters or punctuation. If they provide an invalid name, they’re prevented from viewing their news feed, communicating with other users, or even deactivating their account for a number of hours. This aggressive move should eradicate irregular names on Facebook, promoting authentic identity but potentially angering or driving some users away from the site.
A month ago, Facebook began asking users to use their real name in only one language with a full first and last name and without special characters such as ♥, ☮, or Ⓥ. Facebook explained that this was to “reduce spam and increase authenticity”, but many affected users felt it was unfair to force them to strip away symbols used to denote affiliation with causes or ideologies, such as Ⓥ for veganism or voluntaryism.