Yet Another Victim of Facebook Racial Profiling

This post is old, so what you see here may not reflect my current opinion and mindset, certain information may be outdated, and links may be broken.

I’ve already Twittered about this and posted my unhappiness about this on my friends-only LiveJournal, but I figured I’d blog about it here, too. Long story short, I discovered today that Facebook had logged me out of my account. I tried to log back in, but I was greeted with a “Your account has been disabled. If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page here” message.

Someone who manages Facebook must think that I am using a fake name with my account. My guess is that they’ve seen pictures of me, seen that I am Asian, and decided that I am using a very non-Asian name, a fake name to fool people all over their precious social networking service.

Honestly, that’s the only logical conclusion I can think of.

Logical or not, I’m infuriated. I’ve registered a Facebook account in October 2006, and I’ve always used one name on that thing, and it was my REAL first and last names. I do have several nicknames/aliases I go by online, but I’ve always used my real name on Facebook.

I found out from a friend that this is called “racial profiling”. Apparently, I am not the first person they did this to, and I probably won’t be the last. I really do not appreciate this kind of typecasting/stereotyping/what-have-you. I know plenty of Asians with non-Asian names, and for that, I also know there are non-Asians with Asian names.

I’ve sent a support request about this, and I hope they re-enable my account with everything on it. I’ll have to continue using it because I’ve got many treasured friends and families who only uses that as our mode of communication, but I’ve now learned to never trust these people again. Over the years, I’ve been annoyed with Facebook as a whole, but this just takes the cake for me.

Comments

  1. I don’t know why Facebook have to be so strict about this. :| I know anyone who signs up is agreeing with their terms of service, but we’re keeping our data on their server so we should honestly have the right to put whatever details we want behind that. That’s another matter, though, I guess.

    As for this ‘racial profiling’, I think it’s ridiculous and if not a little rude. They simply cannot judge a person on how they look and decide that their photos do not link with their name. It is true that there are some people whose last names do not seem to fit their facial appearance. Like you, I’ve seen people with Asian last names and have looked nothing like an Asian, and vice versa. Not to mention that some people may also change their name for whatever reason.

    It’s upsetting since you do use Facebook to keep in contact with friends and/or family and that is your only mode of communication. A friend of mine had her account disabled because she tried to change her last name. She simply wanted it to be changed or not displayed due to privacy reasons… stupid Facebook.

  2. But unless they’re going through your personal stuff, they can’t tell for sure that you didn’t marry a man with your non-Asian last name!

  3. Oh god, that sucks! Facebook is totally wacko when it comes to stuff like this. I’ve thought about quitting Facebook forever, but like you, I have a lot of people who use it as the primary mode of communication.

    I mean, that’s ridiculous. If last names don’t match up with the race, how do they know that said person wasn’t 1) adopted (as you were), or 2) married?

  4. That happened to my little brother a while back. We weren’t sure why it happened, but I joked with him saying that Facebook must have thought he was an online pedophile with all of little friends. However, it could be his name (David) now that you’ve brought this up.

  5. Wow that really infuriates me too so I can only imagine how frustrated and angry you are about all this. That is definitely racial profiling and I think it’s horrible. I also hope that everything is fully re-enabled.

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