Native Village Youth and Education News

March 1, 2009 Issue 195 Volume 4

 

Is Facebook Not Friendly to Natives?
By Nancy Kelsey
Condensed by Native Village


Rosebud Indian Reservation, SD: Facebook is not friends with Robin Kills The Enemy.

The social networking site, which enables millions of "friends" to stay in touch with one another, disabled the 28-year-old Lakota woman's account.  Facebook assumed Kills The Enemy was a fake name.

Now Kills The Enemy has lost touch with hundreds of her Facebook friends. "I'm getting used to it, but it still pisses me off," Kills The Enemy said

An e-mail notice to Robin from Facebook that read:

"Fake names are a violation of our Terms of Use. Facebook requires users to provide their full first and last names (i.e. no initials). Nicknames can be used in the form of FirstName 'NickName' LastName, but only if they are a variation on your real first or last name, such as 'Bob' instead of 'Robert'.

"If you would like to use this profile again, just get back to us with your real name, and we will reactivate the account for you."

It was signed, "Thanks for your understanding, Zoe, User Operations Analyst, Facebook."

Facebook officials have not responded to calls and e-mails seeking comment. However, they did promise to reinstate her account if she provided government-issued identification. She faxed them her passport.

Kills The Enemy said she's grown used to skepticism about her name when she is off the reservation. Her name is translated fron an ancestor's given name four generations ago.  Many Native Americans were given names in ceremonies or through Vision Quests, she said.

What makes her roll her eyes is that there are people on Facebook with obviously fake names.

"They can have Isthebest as a last name, and I can't have my last name?" she said

http://www.reznetnews.org/article/facebook-not-friendly-natives-29240

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