If You’re Not Using A Real Name On Facebook, You Better Change It

Facebook has had a “real name policy” for quite some time now, but it has remained largely unenforced. Recently, a long list of people with the words “Liberty” or “Voluntaryist” in their names, have been threatened or banned by facebook moderators. I spoke to two of them today, and got some screen shots of their experience.

fbcops2Rob Rebel, formerly known as Rob Voluntaryist Rebel said,

Well a week ago I got a notification from Facebook saying I had to remove voluntaryist from my middle name, I put it to just V for an initial and then earlier this week I got a notification that Facebook requires that I submit an ID in order for them to verify my identity due to their policies on people having to use their real name
So I was given there options, submit my papers, create a new account, or abandon Facebook. I compromised and created a new account.
I’m not about to submit identification to use a website but at the same time the liberty movement lives and dies on Facebook. I still wanted to be connected with others that are on here
Rob could have kept his account, but he wasn’t about to send Facebook a copy of his ID, so he opted to create a new account.
Chelle Milnichampbell, formerly known as “Liberty Belle” said,

they locked me out of my account and said I couldn’t get back in until I had a… something along the lines of an ‘approved name’… you know?

I tried to do ‘Liberty’ and ‘Bell’ but they wouldn’t allow it.
I could have come up with something MUCH more clever if I had the time, but I was talking to a friend about her Daddy’s recent cancer diagnosis and so I just threw part of my middle and a mish-mash of family names up there… and it worked.
lol Sorry…
If I had been at home and not involved, I would have done a screen shot… I was just trying to hurry and get back to my friend.
But if you go to the settings and try to change your name – yourself, you have a choice… but not if you had a FB forced change. I CAN send you that screen shot.
When you click “Learn More” this is what comes up,
Other users report having their accounts completely locked out, with no hope of recovery. They were not immediately available for comment.
Now, clearly we’re all free to stop using Facebook if we want to. Nobody is being forced here, and for many of us, maybe not using Facebook is exactly the answer. With the widely publicized cooperation Facebook has had with the US and other governments, using your real name to discuss important matters can be extremely dangerous. Not that the use of a pseudonym will actually protect you, but it will provide some layer of obfuscation which, in combination with Tor or a VPN, might keep you alive when the crackdowns start in your particular FEMA region
It does seem sort of telling that Facebook is presently targeting libertarians on the other hand. Especially since they are requesting government issued ID’s. This in combination with the MIAC report and DHS’s Domestic Extremism Lexicon, insinuating that libertarians are terrorists threats, should be of concern to all of us.
Additionally, having your facebook account deleted, as has happened in some cases, can be a serious problem if you are using Facebook as your sign in method to other websites. I’ve used this option repeatedly all across the Internet because it is easier than creating new accounts everywhere. But if I lose access to my Facebook account, what then?
Building your facebook account back up is not just a matter of re-adding your friends. I’m working on an article about social networking where I will talk more about “EdgeRank” which is the system Facebook uses to determine whether or not your posts show up in your friends’ news feeds. Your EdgeRank is important, and it is built over time based on how much your friends interact with your content. The more interaction you get, the more your posts will actually show up in other peoples news feeds. Without it, you could have 5,000 facebook friends, and not get a single “Like” or comment, because Facebook simply won’t show anybody your posts. If you lose your account, you will also lose your EdgeRank, and that can be very difficult to build back up.Here are some helpful hints to help you avoid trouble
  • Use a real sounding name: So far “Freeman” looks safe, but Voluntaryist is out. There are plenty of plausible surnames that you could use to obscure your identity and promote your ideas without catching the attention of Facebook moderators.
  • Don’t use facebook to sign into other websites: Losing your Facebook account could cause you major trouble on other parts of the Internet.
  • Diversify your social networking presence: You should be on Twitter and Google+ as well as Facebook, so if Facebook takes down your profile for any reason, you can reach your friends through these mediums and ask them to add you back. If you start sending hundreds of friend requests from a new account, Facebook will think you are spamming and the new account could get blocked as well.
  • Subscribe via email to ChristopherCantwell.com in the top left corner of this website, and follow me on Twitter. :)



Delilah de Cleyre, formerly known as Katie Voluntaryist went through this, and shared a video of her experience.

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  • James Sovereign Freedman

    James Freedman agrees!

  • Martin Paul Cheney

    Be looking forward to your info on EdgeRank or can email me at martywholikestoparty@yahoo.com we can chat the old way via phone!

  • Don Duncan

    One of the last privileges we are allowed (rights are not recognized by the state) is choosing our name. There is no such thing as “real name” legally, i.e., anyone can use any name they want as long as they do not change names to commit a crime. Your name is not dependent on a state I.D. You may call yourself anything you want, anytime you want.

    We should all point that out to FB.

    • Dennis Wilson

      Sorry, Don. I disagree with you on this one.

      Why should we lower ourselves to even attempt to beg FB for attention?

      • Don Duncan

        I created a page about a year ago. I have gone to it a half dozen times because I was notified someone posted there. It is polluted by ads in the body and my wife (who uses FB a lot) tells me I can’t get rid of them without paying. So I don’t care if I get kicked off. I don’t use it. But those who do have no right to set terms. FB is private property. Telling FB your complaints and threatening to boycott it or ignore its rules is NOT begging, it is negotiating.

        I have recently started using by name when I comment anywhere but I used “voluntaryist” and “1voluntaryist” for over a decade. I was not hiding. I just wanted to promote the concept of voluntarism. Now it is out there I have gone back to using my name.

        • J. Camaron Rogers

          AdBlock Plus, install it. I haven’t seen ads in years.

  • Free_Able

    When self ownership is involved what is a real name?

  • Dennis Wilson

    Rob Voluntaryist Rebel said, “…the liberty movement lives and dies on Facebook…”

    Now THAT is truly pathetic!

  • pyrodice

    Anyone here hardcore enough to get a name change, to include “voluntaryist” as a legal name? ;)

    • miseshayekrothbard

      I was just thinking that.

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  • Attila Lendvai

    so, the fuckers blocked me also (obfuscated to fight indexing: Onmre Agrt Frmn), without any options for dispute resolution. all my comments are deleted from every goddamn debate, and all i can do is complain about it somewhere off facebook.

    it was unusual that i had to log in when i visited the site (i keep it logged in), and this is what i got:

    “It looks like you’re using a personal account to represent an organization, business, brand or public figure. It’s actually a violation of the Facebook Terms to use a personal account to represent anything other than yourself.

    We recommend converting your timeline to a Facebook Page.”

    but the most important thing is:

    “No other content will be carried over to your new Page”

    IOW, they purged all my content from facebook without a word.

    • miseshayekrothbard

      Its still there, just frozen.

      • Attila Lendvai

        yeah, what i meant is that they purged it from the display. one needs to accept that theoretically nothing can be removed that was once published, that’s just the nature of information…

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  • Dominique Storni

    Yeah, FB is just another tool of the tools @ NSA, CIA, FBI, etc

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  • miseshayekrothbard

    About 3.5 years ago, my account was deleted for having a “fake name”, probably the victim of mass reporting bastards. I filed a complaint thru their arcane channels and sent a physical letter to the HQ. About 5 months later, I got an email while in a foreign country travelling and away from wifi most of the day. The email said I could be reactivated if I showed an ID. After thinking about it for a few weeks and knowing my name on there was not matched to my legal name, I decided to claim that I dont believe in government ID and dont have one. They replied eventually that if I just state my name for the record, itll be reactivated. By then, I had already moved on to a new account, so I just let it go, but it appears that it would work. They really have no right to demand a government ID and what if you dont have one. Problem solved.

    At the time I used a political name (freedom), but in a foreign language, so it was plausible as a surname. Now, I use a generically plausible, but fake surname. It serves a great purpose at making it impossible for real life people to find me when I dont want them to and for Facebook friends (which, by the way, is a violation of Terms of Use–to be friends with people youve never met) to not be able to find me in real life. Ive fooled so many people, even those who already knew my name, theyre so used to seeing me on facebook that they get confused when they see or hear my real name.