Author Salman Rushdie Wins Fight With Facebook Over Name

Salman Rushdie - The Royal Academy of Arts - P - 2011
Ian Gavan/Getty Images

After the social network changed his name to Ahmed, he took on CEO Mark Zuckerberg via Twitter until he could declare: “Facebook has buckled!”

NEW YORK – Author Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses) has prevailed in a showdown with Facebook over his name and identity, the New York Times reported.

Rushdie on Monday posted a slew of Twitter messages saying that the social network had deactivated his account, demanded proof of identity and changed his name on the site to Ahmed Rushdie, the name in his passport, the report said. The author argued that he had never used the name Ahmed and has become famous as Salman.

“Where are you hiding, Mark?” Rushdie said in one tweet directed at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, according to the Times. “Come out here and give me back my name!”

Following support from the Twitter universe, Rushdie declared victory later in the day. “Facebook has buckled! I’m Salman Rushdie again,” he wrote. “I feel SO much better. An identity crisis at my age is no fun.”

While Twitter takes a laissez-faire approach to the use of names, Facebook has focused on real identities to ensure civil conversations, the Times said.

“Facebook has always been based on a real-name culture,” Elliot Schrage, vp of public policy at Facebook, told the paper. “We fundamentally believe this leads to greater accountability and a safer and more trusted environment for people who use the service.”

Real identity also provides more opportunities for doing business, the paper said.


Twitter: @georgszalai