Facebook Identity Policy ~ Is It a Modern Day Witch Hunt or Something More?
In September, Facebook decided to enforce their identity policy and they wanted everyone to use their real name – citing efforts to make the internet safer. In doing so, Facebook locked hundreds of accounts.
According to a Reuters report, Facebook's policy adversely affects the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community. This report also mentioned that Facebook, after several complaints filed, has lifted their restrictions for those in the LGBT community.
What Reuters didn't mention was the effect this policy enforcement has on the pagan community. And the fact that this restriction was not lifted for them.
In a blog post dated October 23rd, Silver Ravenwolf explains a concern they have in regards to this policy enforcement.
“The excuse that once your “real” name is on your personal page that you can adjust your settings to private and therefore be ensured of your safety is ridiculous. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is safe on the net. Ever. The human condition adores a secret — it never rests. Gossips never cease. Hackers will never quit. Stalkers will continue to stalk. Religious zealots will keep up their harassment and discrimination tactics — and FaceBook? You just let that door swing wide open. Witches, Wiccans, and Pagans are still targeted today — and you just declared open season on them.” (click the text to read Ravenwolf’s full post)
If you think this is just another crack pot complaining they have a right to use a “goofy name”, you have it way wrong. The issue goes much deeper.
As progressive as we would like to think our society is, it isn't. There is still fear around what we don’t understand and the result in history have been witch hunts and slaughter.
While, some may argue that witch hunts or persecution of pagans would not happen in this day and age. We all can agree that alternative religious belief systems are still not acceptable by the majority.
I touched on this subject in an earlier post about Stevie Nicks.
Ravenwolf’s safety concern is a valid one. Not only is this a safety issue it's a discrimination issue. Let’s put it another way, what about the Native Americans that use their tribal names? Since their tribal names are not considered “ the norm”, they cannot use them on Facebook?
While I applaud Facebook for listening to the LGBT community, I fault them for ignoring others.