Bridey Heing
July 15, 2015 5:53 am

A lot of people use fake names on Facebook, despite policies set up to keep that from happening. Although many use names other than their legal name for gender identity reasons, it’s not rare for people to use monikers that aren’t what you’d find on their driver’s license just for fun or for greater privacy. Case in point: I used the last name “Henrickson” for years as a shoutout to HBO’s Big Love. But apparently, that can lead to some serious issues, like London resident Jemma Rogers recently learned.

When Rogers set up her account in 2008, she used the name “Jemmaroid Von Laalaa.” It got past Facebook’s authorization process then, but recently she was asked to provide proof of identification when her account was locked. The only way to get back into her account was to send Facebook official ID.

Rogers tried explaining, and even made an attempt to Photoshop a debit card to show the fake name. But Facebook was unswayed, and continued asking for ID. That was when Rogers did something kind of extreme: She legally changed her name.

Yep, in order to unlock her Facebook account, she had to change her name to Jemmaroid Von Laalaa.

“I know I’ve been a completely moron, but Facebook are being ridiculous,” Rogers told Time. “They should be able to tell it’s a genuine account but just under a fake name, I can’t believe I am being punished like this. I’ve been locked out of my account for five weeks now and have lost all of my photos, messages and precious memories.”

As of yesterday, a Facebook spokesperson finally addressed this naming fiasco: “Facebook asks people to use their authentic names, as we believe this makes people more accountable for what they say.  In this instance we made a mistake but we reactivated the account last week. We apologize for any inconvenience that this caused.”

So that’s good. But let this be a weird, futuristic cautionary tale. Your name is no joke on Facebook. Gone are the days of referential, hilarious usernames—now the Internet is serious business and if you want all the perks of Facebook, you may need to own up to your real name. If not, you might end up with a really unexpected name for good.  Yes, that’s the world we live in now.

(Image via Facebook)

Related:

This small Facebook update is a rad win for gender equality

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