Facebook demands Real Names, and Facebook thinks itself the only judge of what names are Real:
A young married couple from Arizona are feeling blue, having been banned from Facebook for trying to use their otherworldly last name, Avatar.
Balizar Orion Avatar and his wife of four years, Audry, of Prescott, say the popular social media site has deleted the husband’s Facebook account after having deemed his family name fake.
Balizar, who goes by Boa for short, says his father told him that when translated from Sanskrit, his full name, which he was born with, means: “May the Lord protect the king, son of light in deity human form.”
In order to prove that they have not made up their last name, Balizar and Audry say Facebook has required them to provide copies of their driver’s licenses and other paperwork.
Why, they don’t even have blue skin!
I did a quick search of Anywho.com for anyone with the last name “Avatar.” It turns out that in about a half-millisecond, the site returned pages of results, from people living from California to New York and plenty of points in between.
While I’ve never known anyone with the last name Avatar, it is definitely a valid surname. Facebook could have come to that conclusion at least as quickly as I did, but it’s likely they set some code to watch for suspicious names to automatically flag, and, as anyone who’s had a problem with Facebook knows, once the giant makes a decision, even an automated one, getting to an actual human being to rectify the situation is about as easy as winning the Powerball lottery twice in the same month.
Hmmm. I wonder if they have a Pandora account.