Woman Says Her Facebook Account Was Suspended Because Her First Name Is Isis
A California engineer says her Facebook account was disabled allegedly after administrators took her legal first name—“Isis”— to mean she was associated with the terrorist group.
“Facebook thinks I’m a terrorist. Apparently sending them a screenshot of my passport is not good enough for them to reopen my account,” Isis Anchalee, 22, tweeted on Tuesday.
A man who identified as a Facebook researcher responded to Anchalee’s post, apologizing for the ordeal.
@isisAnchalee Isis, sorry about this. I don't know what happened. I've reported it to the right people and we're working on fixing it.— omid farivar (@bromid) November 17, 2015
Later that day Anchalee, who is well known for her participation in an advertising campaign and her subsequent efforts to combat sexism in the industry, wrote on the social media site that her account had been restored.
“Third time sending in my information is the charm I guess. I’m back in,” Anchalee tweeted, adding a smiley face.
The software engineer had previously taken to Twitter about the aggravation she endures as a result of her first name, which is also an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“I wish I had $5 for every time a ... driver asks me about my name. It’s starting to make me angry,” she wrote on Sunday.
Others apparently suggested she change her name, to which she replied: “NO I will NOT change my name. Wtf people.”
It was not immediately clear if others with her first name had experienced the same problems on Facebook.
Anchalee created the #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign after an ad she was featured in drew criticism from others in the industry that said she looked “too sexy” in it.
“I’m pretty blown away at the amount of attention my ad particularly has received… Some of the responses warm my heart while others I consider to be kind of shocking,” Anchalee wrote at the time in an essay of examples of sexism she has encountered in the workplace.
Thousands went on to use the hashtag Anchalee created to recast perceptions of engineers.
She declined to further discuss the Facebook incident, writing on Twitter: “Reporters: ilu but I don't want to make any comments about FB. I just wanted my account back.”
A spokesperson for Facebook said: "This was an error made as part of a fake account reporting process and we're sorry for the trouble it caused. It was not connected to the individual's name and her account has already been restored."