What’s in a name? Salman Rushdie vs. Facebook

Booker Prize winning author Salman Rushdie has succeeded in using Twitter to make Facebook back down over how he uses his name. The whole spat started when Facebook deleted his account thinking it to be that of an imposter. When Rushdie sent them a picture of his passport to confirm his identity, things got a little silly.

The author’s full given name – which he never uses – is in fact Ahmed Salman Rushdie, and upon seeing a copy of his passport, Facebook refused to allow him to use ‘Salman’ as his first name. So he took to Twitter to vent his anger and try to affect a resolution from Facebook.

His followers duly made some noise about the somewhat draconian name policy on Facebook, and Rushdie himself made some humourous observations, particularly about people of note who do/did not use their given name on a daily basis:

The Twitter pressure obviously worked, with Rushdie’s profile being reinstated within two hours, and apparently in another hour the company issued an official apology. For all of the tweets that Salman Rushdie posted on this matter, there’s a rather handy ‘storybook’ on Mashable that further embellishes this little episode.

As amsuing as it may be, this does serve as a reminder that Facebook can and do delete accounts sometimes without reason and it’s very rare that anyone without celebrity status can get so easily reinstated. So remember to keep your social networks backed up with SocialSafe.