Facebook gives Rushdie back his name

Nov. 15, 2011 at 8:42 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie was briefly forced to go by his unused first name, Ahmed, on his Facebook account, due to the Web site's identity policy.

Rushdie said Facebook deactivated his account Monday, requiring proof of his identity from his passport, The New York Times reported Tuesday. His account was reactivated but under the name "Ahmed Rushdie," the official name he never uses.

"Where are you hiding, Mark?" he asked of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, in a Twitter post "Come out here and give me back my name!"

After 2 hours and other members of Twitter taking up his cause, Rushdie declared the matter resolved.

"Facebook has buckled! I'm Salman Rushdie again. I feel SO much better. An identity crisis at my age is no fun," posted the author of "The Satanic Verses" who once went into hiding because of death threats.

Facebook insists users use their real names on accounts.

"Facebook has always been based on a real-name culture," said Elliot Schrage, vice president of public policy at Facebook. "We fundamentally believe this leads to greater accountability and a safer and more trusted environment for people who use the service."

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