Dear Mr. Zuckerberg:
After seven years with Facebook I've recently been shut out because I couldn't confirm my identity, even though I've sent you copies of my driver's license, gun license, copies of unopened mail with my name on it, screen shots of books I've written, speaking engagements, business cards and even my Google page when you look up my name. Seems a little ironic that in the past my name not matching to my credit card for promoted posts was different, but always accepted by Facebook.
I was contacted by one of your staff named "Jesse" who told me I didn't match my FB page and then proceeded to shut me out of Facebook. So, here's the challenge - on your own policy page you state:
"Facebook is a community where people use their authentic identities. We require people to provide the name they use in real life; that way, you always know who you're connecting with."
Well, my nickname has been "Skip" since birth. It's my name in "real life". As an adult, I don't use my real name. It should NOT be on my Facebook page, my blog, my Twitter account or anything else in social media. However it is the name on any legal documents, credit cards, etc. I even have relatives who don't know my name is Steven. I have sent Jesse, everything I have and even explained that my name is Skip. Yet, I have no access to FB pending review by the Facebook team.
The fact that all of this comes on the wake of my complaining about your lack of service is certainly no surprise. However, wandering through cyber space I found a great article by a science writer for National Geographic, Nadia Drake. Her closing line about the lack of flexibility in Facebook's policy says it all...
"What Facebook has done is create a system that forces compliance or isolation. And worst of all, it places the power with harassers—as if the Internet needed more of that."
And just to further demo my point, that's a scan of my birth announcement above, which was actually pretty clever. It was printed on a diaper with my nickname on the inside. However, in all honesty, me sharing my birth announcement is just about as absurd as Jesse essentially telling me my name on my Facebook page is wrong!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.