Facebook Temporarily Denies Access to Users with Invalid Names

Users whose names don’t meet Facebook’s guidelines are being temporarily denied access to their accounts. Upon logging in, these users are warned to change to a full first and last name without special characters or punctuation. If they provide an invalid name, they’re prevented from viewing their news feed, communicating with other users, or even deactivating their account for a number of hours. This aggressive move should eradicate irregular names on Facebook, promoting authentic identity but potentially angering or driving some users away from the site.

A month ago, Facebook began asking users to use their real name in only one language with a full first and last name and without special characters such as ♥, ☮, or Ⓥ. Facebook explained that this was to “reduce spam and increase authenticity”, but many affected users felt it was unfair to force them to strip away symbols used to denote affiliation with causes or ideologies, such as  Ⓥ for veganism or voluntaryism.

In Facebook’s view, when users are tied to their real name and identity, they’re less likely to practice abusive or disruptive behavior. By only having real names on the site, Facebook could power future online identity systems which could become a lucrative business. However, Facebook has allowed irregular names until now, meaning some have become accustomed to this form of expression and are reluctant to change.

Now when users without valid names log in to Facebook, they’re brought to the URL http://www.Facebook.com/Checkpoint. Under the header “Please Update Your Name on Facebook” they see a warning stating “If you enter an invalid name your account will be inaccessible for [#] hours before your next opportunity to update your name.” The number of hours number reportedly increases from one to two hours to four hours, and possibly longer if the user repeatedly refuses to comply.

Users are shown first, middle(optional), and last names entry fields which they can use to update their name. If the user enters a valid name, they’re given normal access to their account. If they enter the same invalid name they’ve been using or another name that fails to meet the guidelines, they’re shown an “Account Inaccessible for [#] Hours” page explaining “Your account is temporarily unavailable because of repeated attempts to enter an invalid name.” They’re told to enter a valid name when they regain access.

Users with unusual legal names, such as those which umlauts or other special characters, could be erroneously prompted to change their names. The move could also stamp out some emergent behavior, such as users changing their name on Facebook while searching for a job to keep hirers from finding their profile, or users putting special characters in front of their names so they appear at the top of search results.

Facebook could merely be trying to clean up the site. However, the stern approach may be to speed preparations for an upcoming feature or integration which requires authentic identity.

[Thanks to Jill B for the tip]

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Leave a Reply

39 Responses to “Facebook Temporarily Denies Access to Users with Invalid Names”

  1. Alan D. Thomas says:

    My name is Alan Thomas and MY email is thm2al@bellsouth.net. someone else, Richard Poindexter has used my email address fraudulently and now I’m not able to sign up for FACEBOOK

  2. Esther says:

    I can’t log in for like 12 hours already… This is so dumb! How am I get to update my name??? Can someone help me? I mean I had my English name then my Chinese name… so yah…

  3. Sebastian says:

    @Alan
    Have the password of the supposedly fraudulent user sent to your e-mail-address, possibly annoy his friends, delete the user, create a new account.
    Was that so difficult?

  4. Josh Constine says:

    @Esther: Make sure to use the Alternative Name option to enter your name in a second language. Facebook no longer allows users to have multiple languages in their primary name.

  5. Alex says:

    @Josh Constine:
    na i just tried using chinese name in Alternative, and they just blocked me

  6. Pannatorn says:

    Resolved QuestionShow me another »
    Facebook Account Help!!?
    I can’t access my facebook account.It’s says Please correct you name.Delete any punctuation,smiles.When i gave my actual name in English it says

    Your account is temporarily unavailable because of repeated attempts to enter an invalid name.
    Please try again in 4 hours. When your account is accessible, please enter a version of your name that fits our profile name guidelines. To list your name in a second language, you can use the Alternate Name field in Account Settings at a later time.

    How can i get back my account???

  7. AMir rr says:

    I hope facebook fails!! This is so angering! I hope they fail! Screw the Facebook CEO!!!

  8. Josh Constine says:

    @Pannatorn: Follow those instructions to regain access to your account.

  9. Josh Constine says:

    @Tracy: Enter your maiden name as an alternative name.

  10. Orhan says:

    Tam oLarak Ne ad Girebiliriz ? yardımcı olun ?

  11. lorie says:

    Account Inaccessible for 8 Hours
    Your account is temporarily unavailable because of repeated attempts to enter an invalid name.
    Please try again in 8 hours. When your account is accessible, please enter a version of your name that fits our profile name guidelines. To list your name in a second language, you can use the Alternate Name field in Account Settings at a later time.

    i cannot open my facebook account. pls help me to back my account.

    thank you

  12. mdk says:

    i cant login to facebook even when i maiden name it saying ur account inaccessible .. balls
    wtf r they going to rectify it i cant check other page in fb …

  13. mdk says:

    and i cant even restore how u do that

  14. mdk says:

    i cant login it keeps saying same thing . r is this a glitch

  15. facebook_sucks!! says:

    I can not even remove my account if I dont want to change my name…

  16. POed says:

    This is so ridiculous! My name is in kanji, always has been and always will be. It’s authentic, not some character I thought would be cute with my name, it’s what I was born with.

    Screw you facebook!

  17. mdk says:

    i could login to facebook now i changed my added some letters to my last name ..for ex
    if ur last name is bing just change it bingoo r bingaa n check if it works ..

  18. nicky says:

    Account Inaccessible for 8 Hours
    Your account is temporarily unavailable because of repeated attempts to enter an invalid name.
    Please try again in 4 hours. When your account is accessible, please enter a version of your name that fits our profile name guidelines. To list your name in a second language, you can use the Alternate Name field in Account Settings at a later time.

    i cannot open my facebook account. pls help me to back my account.

    thank you

  19. Jemah Getonzo says:

    Just also having the same problem, is the easiest solution is to delete some symbols like this Jemah Getonzo (ﭢ) in order to reopen my account and turn back to normal again on Facebok?

  20. ayu says:

    y name is in indonesian, not in English!!!! what a heck??!! same thing happened to me and it’s ridiculously irritating!!!

  21. Marwar says:

    Your account is temporarily unavailable because of repeated attempts to enter an invalid name.
    Please try again in 32 hours. When your account is accessible, please enter a version of your name that fits our profile name guidelines. To list your name in a second language, you can use the Alternate Name field in Account Settings at a later time.

    this is bullshit !

  22. gokce says:

    @josh constine
    u say us to follow those instructions but it only says after this ‘Account Inaccessible for 16 Hours’ to continue. click that button and there is nothing happening.

  23. carl says:

    human rights babe, you are forcing other people to use their real name for your own purpose, business minded. you are setting this rule after people registered and are used to your nice but waste of time services.

  24. Geremeh says:

    I’m a newbie but fail to start because when I began to sign up I was thwarted with that invalid name box. How can I have a start? Can somebody able to help me?

  25. Tsuki says:

    i already follow all the instructions but it still did not work..

    what should i do???
    all this will continue like this forever??

  26. maha says:

    finaly i cn enter to my facebook after 2days it says “Please try again in 8 hours. When your account is accessible, please enter a version of your name that fits our profile name guidelines. To list your name in a second language, you can use the Alternate Name field in Account Settings at a later time”.

    i jst write my first name without any symbol then my last aslo without any symbol

    it says ur facebok name is already update………i m so happy :-)

  27. challi says:

    I cant log in my face book account i get this msg…”Unusual Login Activity-Please Review”…and it changes the website to https://ssl.facebook.com/roadblock/

    I need help

  28. Ankie says:

    Ik moet ook steeds een tweede naam invullen. Heb nooit een tweede naam gebruikt. Mijn facebook blijft steeds niet toegankelijk. Kan er niet mee. Begin me eingelijk er aan te ergeren. Ben nu voor 64 uur niet toegankelijk.
    Kan iemand me helpen hoe ik weer op facebook kom?

  29. jihad says:

    i can to open my account . helllllllllllllp why why

  30. Joe says:

    I can not access my facebook as long as 240 hours, I forgot about my middle name, please help me, I’ve tried it several times but to no avail

  31. Hoda says:

    Is it by innocent coincidence that facebook starts filtering a month ago… just when arab people revolutions broke out in Tunisia, then in Egypt? These historical popular movements succeeded due to the facebook free communicative power. Logically, Facebook should have been celebrating its historical role at the moment, rather then reducing spam and marketing for businesses! Does Facebook support autocraty in arab countries, so that they would live forever in ignorance and chaos ?

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