Native Americans Protest After Facebook Deletes Users Who Have Indigenous Names
Facebook is coming under fire after deleting user accounts that use Native American names. The protest began after Deloria Many Grey Horse-Violich, a woman from Calgary, Alberta, repeatedly had her account deleted by the service, which believed it to be a fake. Facebook was reportedly first alerted to Many Grey Horse-Violich's account when supporters of the Biloxi High School mascot took issue with a petition she started to ask that school to change that mascot.
So her cousin Jacqueline Keeler has started an online protest called #IndigenizeZuckerberg:
The protest is calling on Native American and First Nation Facebook members and allies to change their own names to Zuckerberg for one day, today.
Keeler writes, “The way these Facebook 'real name' policies are enforced reveal cultural biases against our people that are still alive in the minds of our peers. And that is not acceptable. Also, since they rely on an account being "reported" they are useful tools for bullies to use to silence and further marginalize Native people. I cannot silently accept either while I enjoy the protections my surname gives me on FB. That I even have to type that sentence is unbelievable to me in this day and age but then, so is the fact that our people are mascotted. It is all unbelievable and yes, unacceptable in 2015.”
Facebook has in the past been involved in disputes over its “real name” policy. Last year, it got in hot water for deleting accounts of prominent drag queens, eventually apologizing to the community over its policy.