Marta’s Facebook “Authentic Names” Wrap-up and Resources

FacebookINDIANAPOLIS – Sorry in advance that this is so long! I don’t want to leave anything out, and hope that any or all of this will be helpful.

When my Facebook name was reported the second time for not being “authentic” I didn’t have the option to simply change it again, but was instead prompted when I logged in to submit ID and re enter a name that matched it.

You, my fellow Leather / BDSM / LGBTQIA / Drag / Burlesque / Pagan / Native American Facebook users, may have seen or will see this screen shortly.

For those without a frame of reference: http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/whos-real-enough-facebook

http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/19/8069211/facebook-real-name-policy-problem-account-suspension

https://greatlakesden.net/great-lakes-bootblack-marta-fights-stay-facebook/

Great Lakes Bootblack 2014 Marta

Great Lakes Bootblack 2014 Marta

Though this blew up in September, anonymous users are still trolling through our accounts and friends lists to target and report our accounts daily. We are being forced to change our names and then, if reported a second time, locked out until we provide ID to verify our names.

Here is a rundown of my experience:

Among others, Sister Roma and ‘Lil Miss Hot Mess have stepped up to act as Facebook liaisons. First I emailed Sister Roma, and then contacted ‘Lil Miss Hot Mess using instructions that we’re cleared to share privately.

Please contact me on Facebook or via bootblackmarta@gmail.com if you need their info.

I found that LMHM is a little more responsive to email, but I know that Sister Roma is probably swamped and don’t fault her one bit. They are absolute troopers, and don’t have to be taking on all of this for us. Over the course of three weeks Sister Roma replied twice to let me know that she had forwarded my information along, the second time with a personal note. LMHM forwarded my original email 4 times, letting me know that we just needed to ping them repeatedly, and that it was taking some folks up to a few months to be let back in.

I waited three weeks with no response from Facebook.

Feeling so isolated, missing my far-flung family and knowing my International Ms Bootblack competition is coming up so soon, I followed the lead of a public figure in the poly community who had success with using a photo ID badge and submitting a piece of mail addressed to her.

Here are the guidelines for ID that Facebook (according to them) will accept: https://www.facebook.com/help/159096464162185/?ref=cr

If you look it over, it says rather than a legal ID they will accept two other items from a list of options with your chosen name on them, so long as one includes either a recognizable photo of you or your birthdate.

If you can’t put together a piece of ID that includes a photo or your birthdate, they say that they will accept two pieces of ID with your FB name + one piece of ID with photo or birthdate and your legal name.

That didn’t work for me.

After I uploaded images of my IDs (Message me privately for photos) a case was opened, where after much back and forth they rejected my pieces of ID and refused to respond to my several requests for clarification, closing my case out 4 times.

Meanwhile, folks shared the heck out of my story.

Because I was let back in with no message or notice, I still don’t know which action worked, why my pieces of ID weren’t accepted, or whether it was just one or both that didn’t work for them. Maybe one or the other did not appear “authentic” enough. Maybe the Community Operations rep assigned to my case was on a power trip. I’m not sure.

I really wish that I could say with confidence what action will work. I feel so humbled and overwhelmed now that folks are asking for my help. I can, though, simply share all of this and based on my experience recommend:

1) Email Sister Roma and ‘Lil Miss Hot Mess right away following ‘Lil Miss Hot Mess’s instructions for both. Again, contact me for their info. Feel free to reference me.

2) See if you can put together two pieces of ID. I had used an event registration badge and a piece of mail. Maybe order an item online or a catalog for your piece of mail. Have friends send you mail from all over addressed to your name.

I don’t know for certain whether these things will work, but hopefully they will.

3) Make as much noise as possible, and have your friends do the same.

– Share this status update.

– Let’s consistently use ‪#‎MyNameIs every time.

– Let’s unify our voices as affected BDSM and leather people with ‪#‎MyNameIsLeather

Optional: ‪#‎KinkIsWhatWeDo ‪#‎LeatherIsWhoWeAre

If you have other suggestions for hashtags post them here and definitely do see if they’ll take off. It can’t hurt.

– Make a hashtag for yourself- my people used ‪#‎FreeMarta

– Have everyone “like” both Facebook and Facebook Security so that they can tag them in each and every status update and comment.

– Crosspost to Twitter and whatever other social media you feel could be helpful.

4) Back up / Download your Facebook data: https://www.facebook.com/help/405183566203254

5) Lock down your Friends list: https://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=1803133318390

Fine tune your other privacy settings: https://www.facebook.com/help/325807937506242/

Facebook can and should be abiding by their own policies by handling our cases in a timely manner, but they are not. I see the fear that spreads when friends are “hit”, and have experienced the anxiety that results from knowing that if you are reported again you face isolation, uncertainty and unspecified delays in response and reactivation.

I urge you, if you have already been reported once, have changed your name and still have access to your account, consider taking these steps proactively.

Please add your story to the Roll Call sheet I’ve created. Message me for the link.

I might be way off base, but feel that it could be helpful for us to note who has been affected and what experiences and results everyone is having in one place, especially if we wouldn’t otherwise see them in our individual social networks.

Thanks for reading, good luck and definitely message me if you have thoughts, suggestions or questions.

In Leather,
Bootblack Marta
Great Lakes Bootblack 2014
Indiana Bootblack 2014