Thursday, March 12, 2015

How White Separatists Disable Native American Facebook Accounts

According to Facebook, the social media network is supposed to be “a community where people use their authentic identities.” That means signing up with the name you were born with or have adopted in real life. Facebook says that it uses an authentic names policy because people are much more likely to feel accountable for their social media behavior if they’re identified.

But Facebook’s policy is easily exploitable: Any user can potentially cause someone else’s account to be suspended, altered or permanently shut down simply by reporting their name as fake. As we’ve recently reported, Facebook has been questioning authentic Native American names since at least 2009.

Since late February when news of its flawed names policy resurfaced on The Last Real Indians blog, we’ve learned that one white supremacist group has bragged about triggering the removal of a high-profile Native user. We’ve also talked to 42 Natives about their past and present experiences with Facebook.

Here are some of the hoops that Native Americans say they’ve jumped through in order to restore their access to Facebook—the international social network they use to connect with loved ones and easily spread the word about their culture, identity, language, politics and activism.


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