Journalist kicked off Facebook for using assumed name

Journalist kicked off Facebook for using assumed name

A female journalist has accused Facebook of kicking her off the site for using a pseudonym, an assumed name, to avoid being trolled.

Laurie Penny, a contributing editor at the weekly political magazine the New Statesman, who also writes for the Guardian, said she had been kicked off Facebook for using a fake name, the Guardian reported.

"Just got suspended by Facebook because I have been using a pseudonym so that I can hide from goddamn trolls," she wrote on Twitter.

In a second tweet, Penny added: "Thanks to @facebook forcing me to use my real name, I am now at more risk of rape and death threats. But enjoy flogging that data, guys."

Penny's criticism comes less than a year after Facebook was slammed by gay and transgender users for its refusal to allow them to represent themselves with their chosen identities.

In September, a number of users on the site, mainly drag performers, reported that their accounts had been suspended for  violation of the company's "real names" policy, which requires individuals to use their legal name for personal accounts.

Responding to Penny on Twitter this afternoon, one person wrote that Facebook's policy is "nasty" and "harms victims and survivors, sex workers and trans people".

Other people to have been affected by Facebook's real name policy in the past include the Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim and author Salman Rushdie.

Facebook has consistently maintained that a "real name culture" creates more accountability.

"We fundamentally believe this leads to greater accountability and a safer and more trusted environment for people who use the service," Facebook has said in an earlier statement.

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