Facebook Suspends Another Native American’s Account
A native American Dane Lone Hill got her Facebook account suspended because of the “real name” policy of the world’s largest social network after she changed her last name from Elk to Hill, reports Colorlines.
Dane Hill is a Lakotan Facebook user who received a message from Facebook demanding her to change the username because it appeared to the social network that she was using a fake name.
This is what actually happened: Lone Hill is the surname of Dane’s mother and Lone Elk is her father’s. She has been using Facebook since 2007 by the name Lone Elk, but she changed it to Lone Hill in early February. Facebook identified the name change and considered the new name as fake, sending her a message to change it.
She changed it back to the old name, and she was allowed to sign in again but for few hours after which, she was locked out again while she was trying to comment.
Facebook’s policy states that after users are accused of using a fake name, they must submit one government-issued ID such as a birth certificate or passport or two other forms of identification such as library card and a yearbook photo.
Lone Hill told Colorlines that she submitted her documents to Facebook last Tuesday but the response she received asked for more documents including “credit cards, Social Security numbers, stuff I’m not comfortable sending.”
Note that Facebook’s process of reviewing submitted documents maintain user privacy. The identity documents are reviewed and verified by only one Facebook employee who destroys the data right after the process is over.
Dane Lone Hill is not the only one who has experienced this issue. Several native Americans have been rejected from logging into Facebook, asking them to provide proof of their names. The social network suspended the account of Parmelee Kills The Enemy under the same “real name” policy. It then went on to ban accounts of several other native Americans including Shane Creepingbear and his wife Jacqui.
However the accounts of this couple were quickly reinstated after Shane tweeted about the fact that his family name apparently didn’t meet Facebook’s standards, and his followers started protests.
Another friend of Lone Hill, who was a Cherokee, was asked to change his name from the Cherokee alphabet to English.
Oglala Lakota Lance Brown Eyes also got his account suspended and when it was reinstated, Facebook changed the last name to “Lance Brown.” Facebook let him use his last name after he threatened to file a class-action lawsuit.
Dane Lone Hill’s account was brought back after around eight hours her story was published on Colorlines. Facebook issued an apology for causing “inconvenience” and admitted the mistake.