Salman Rushdie Fights 'Moronic' Facebook

Operators insisted he use the name 'Ahmed'—his legal first name

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 15, 2011 12:20 AM CST

(Newser) – Writer Salman Rushdie was furious at "moronic" Facebook yesterday after the network took down his profile because operators thought it was fake. To start it up again, he was ordered to send in a copy of his passport—then told to use the name Ahmed because that's what appears on his passport. "They insist I call myself by the first name I have never used," he complained. "What a bunch of morons." Real first names are required by Facebook policy, even if you've used your middle name your entire life.

“Dear #Facebook,” he tweeted, “forcing me to change my FB name from Salman to Ahmed Rushdie is like forcing J. Edgar to become John Hoover.” After much writerly moaning and groaning by the author of Satanic Verses, the profile page was reinstated with the name Salman Rushdie. Facebook said the takedown was all a misunderstanding and apologized. "Victory. Salman returns," crowed Ahmed.

Salman Rushdie: Don't call me Ahmed.
Salman Rushdie: Don't call me Ahmed.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
Novelist Salman Rushdie is perplexed by Facebook policy.
Novelist Salman Rushdie is perplexed by Facebook policy.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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