Ahmed Salman Rushie, author of The Satanic Verses, who went into hiding after a fatwa was taken out on him because of his controversial views, has won another battle… this time with Facebook. If you’re not on Facebook, I think you’re in the minority. And if you are on Facebook, you will know that they have strict “firstname-lastname” rules. After Facebook required that Salman Rushdie (Salman being his middle name) be listed under Ahmed Rushdie, he took to Twitter to stir up support.
“Dear #Facebook, forcing me to change my FB name from Salman to Ahmed Rushdie is like forcing J. Edgar to become John Hoover.
“Or, if F. Scott Fitzgerald was on #Facebook, would they force him to be Francis Fitzgerald? What about F. Murray Abraham?”
The row eventually meant that Facebook gave in and gave Salman Rushdie his wish, but not before requiring he send his passport picture in to prove the account was real (Facebook had deactivated it and only reactivated it under the name “Ahmed Rushdie”, fuelling the argument).
To me, I think this is a perfectly reasonable request; no one knows Ahmed Rushdie, and that was by his choice in the first place. And what about all these people with nicknames on their accounts? Joe “The Man” Bloggs is allowed to choose his name, and so why can’t a bestselling author do the same?
What are your thoughts on the right to name your own account?
You can follow Salman Rushdie on Twitter here.