Update: (Mon. 11:54am) – Mab’s back! Thank you, thank you, thank you! To see the full story on her return, and more heaping of praises on those who took up the call, see: http://wp.me/p4jBPm-4i
Update: (Fri. 9:28am) – We still need your help! Please retweet this: Why ask for ID if you just refuse it? WTF? Turn back on, she is real!
Mab just received her fourth rejection of her appeal to turn her account back on. She has provided 4 different types of ids that prove she is who she says she is, and this is the name she uses everyday in real life. Still, her PERSONAL facebook account is blocked, and a form letter is sent saying: We are unable to verify your identity with the id provided. Please provide identification from the following list… Which she has done. 4 times over.
At this point it is clear – Facebook won’t stand behind their promise from October, they are all about the money and not about their users or their word. They set up a pathway to prove your identity, and then refuse to follow it. They blew smoke in the media and continued to ban drag queens, performers, Native Americans, and anyone who does not fit their mold. They don’t care what name you use in real life, or why you use it – all they care about is sticking to their policy that everyone must have a “real name”, but lets call it what it is – everyone must have a “normal” looking name. They are on the attack again, booting swaths of people who do not conform. We need to fight back. We are trying to be heard, but we need to keep shouting. This is harassment, plain and simple.
Update: (Thurs. 12:26pm) – Some folks have expressed concerns about the first petition we were told about, and thus directed people to sign. We understand those concerns, and have just been linked to another petition that may work better for folks: https://www.change.org/p/facebook-allow-performers-to-use-their-stage-names-on-their-facebook-accounts
Update (Wed 7:18 pm) – There is a petition going to repeal this absurd policy. Not just for Mab, but for everyone affected. Please add your signature at https://www.change.org/p/facebook-stop-forcing-users-to-display-their-real-name
Update (Wed 3:15pm) – A bit more digging makes it seem like we might have the wrong twitter handle for Mark Zuckerman. If anyone knows a better one, please let us know!
Disclaimer: The following is my understanding of events. I may be wrong. It happens, though rarely. – Robert/Gandersnitch
It seems that the fb account of my dear friend and creative collaborator Mab (aka Wedji) was marked as abusive and deleted while she was away performing in New Orleans this past weekend.
A few weeks ago (if even that long) she had run afoul of the “real name police” and was forced to change her name from Mab Just Mab to Mab J’Mab, pending documentation – which she duly provided.
Anybody that knows Mab, knows her only as Mab. Hell, I only know her birth name because of a credit card receipt. She does not use her birth name in real life. That just exists on a piece of paper. She uses the name Mab. Her reasons are her own.
Not only was her account closed, all of her posts, pictures, videos, and private messages were wiped and replaced with this message:This message is no longer available because it was identified as abusive or marked as spam.
Mab is also locked out of the Wedji fb page and the Goblin Talk fb page.
Years of private communications between Mab and myself (and others) regarding performing, planning, etc – are now gone. Comments and posts she made on the goblin talk fb page – gone. Pictures she posted from festivals of us performing – gone.
All over a stupid policy that facebook said in October, after an outpouring of outrage, that they were backing down from. Well, no surprise – FACEBOOK LIED!
I get wanting user accountability, but every other social media platform allows anonymity without compromising user accountability. All facebook’s ill thought out policy does is allow thugs, bullies, and hate mongers to run free and harass people they disagree with without repercussions.
This “real name policy” doesn’t protect anyone. It endangers people who should be able to be secure in their chosen real world identity. It promotes racism and intolerance towards people with traditional or strange sounding names. It puts some customer service person behind a desk somewhere in charge of deciding if another person, who they have never met, is real enough. It puts the burden of proof on the accused, something that is completely backwards to the basic structure of our values in this country. In the end, it really just enables the asshole behavior that facebook pretends they are trying to stop.
Maybe someone disliked something Mab said. Or maybe they just disliked the fact that she performs burlesque. Someone complained. And because of that complaint, Mab’s online identity is wiped. Years of social media contributions are wiped. She is turned into a victim, while her aggressor remains hidden and running free.
This is wrong. This is garbage. This is abuse.
#mynameis Mab, Just Mab.
That is good enough for the rest of the world, and that should be good enough for facebook.
So, the question has been asked: What can you do to help? Mab/Wedji has requested that her case be reopened with facebook. Maybe they will, maybe they wont. In the meantime, the best way to help is spread the word. In the past, people have successfully overturned facebook’s zealous ass-hattery via twitter. It is worth giving it a try again. If you have twitter, please post this tweet:
Why ask for ID if you just refuse it? WTF? Turn back on, she is real!
Thank you. (And if you need to contact Mab directly, please do so via email: Mab@Mabjustmab.com)