If you thought that being the winner of a Man Booker Prize or having one of the highest profiles in the world of literature would exempt you from Facebook’s real name policy, as Salman Rushdie learnt, think again.
Rushdie, whose full name is Ahmed Salman Rushdie, has won a tussle with Facebook over his profile page on the social network.
The ruckus began when Facebook — believing it was a hoax — deactivated Rushdie’s Facebook account. Rushdie then submitted a copy of his passport to the social network as proof he truly was the award-winning writer.
Facebook then reactivated his account, however, in keeping with its policies, it insisted that Rushdie go by his full name on the social network. Rushdie did not, it seems, take kindly to this.
“They said yes, I was me, but insisted I use the name Ahmed which appears before Salman on my passport and which I have never used,” he said.
“They have reactivated my FB page as ‘Ahmed Rushdie,’ in spite of the world knowing me as Salman. Morons,” he said.
Rushdie even tried reaching out directly to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Twitter. “Where are you hiding, Mark? Come out here and give me back my name!” he said.
Failing to get a response from Facebook, Rushdie turned to what he called “ridicule by the Twitterverse.”
“Dear #Facebook, forcing me to change my FB name from Salman to Ahmed Rushdie is like forcing J. Edgar to become John Hoover,” he said.
“Or, if F. Scott Fitzgerald was on #Facebook, would they force him to be Francis Fitzgerald? What about F. Murray Abraham?”
Rushdie’s pleas were eventually answered.
“Victory! #Facebook has buckled! I’m Salman Rushdie again. I feel SO much better. An identity crisis at my age is no fun. Thank you Twitter!” he said.
“Just received an apology from The #Facebook Team,” he added. “All is sweetness and light.”
Rushdie is most well-known for his controversial book, The Satanic Verses which was published in 1988. The book sparked protests across the world, and let to the spiritual and political leader of the extremist Iranian regime, the grand Ayatollah Khomeini, issuing a fatwa against him. — AFP with additional reporting by Staff Reporter