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Facebook bans Filipino for using his real name

UPDATE: Yay, his account has been re-activated!

So my friend got banned from Facebook. The reason? Because Facebook thinks that my friend’s first and last name on his profile isn’t his real name. So one morning he logs into his profile page only to discover that his account has been locked. I can’t even find him in my friends list and all the tags on the photos we took have disappeared as well.

Naturally, he did what any good Internet citizen should do and appealed through the support email. There is a support email — [email protected]. And, this is what he sent:

From: Antonio Piamonte (email withheld)
To: [email protected]
Sent: Sunday, March 15, 2009 3:51:17 PM
Subject: re-enabling a disabled account

Good Afternoon,

I would like to report that my account was disabled by mistake. I would like to ensure you that I am indeed Tonton Piamonte as indicated by my profile and I would like to have my Facebook account re-activated.

Tonton Piamonte

This is Facebook’s automated reply:

From: Facebook Support
To: (withheld)
Sent: Sunday, March 15, 2009 3:44:25 AM
Subject: Re: re-enabling a disabled account


Unfortunately, our systems detected that the name on your account might violate our standards. Facebook requires all profiles to be associated with a full, real name that corresponds to a single individual.

Please provide the following information, and we will gladly re-evaluate the status of your account.

First Name:
Last Name:
Primary use for account:


The Facebook Team

So OK, he gets on with the program and sends his information as well as the most typical thing you’d say in “primary use of account.” It’s actually funny!

From: Antonio Piamonte (withheld)
To: Facebook Support
Cc: [email protected]
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2009 8:01:48 AM
Subject: Re: re-enabling a disabled account


The name in my Facebook account is Tonton Piamonte, but the Tonton is my nickname. My details are as follows:

First Name: Antonio
Last Name: Piamonte
Primary use for account: communicating with friends and relatives both in and out of the country

I hope this helps in re-evaluating my account and I look forward to using it again.


Thus far, Facebook hasn’t replied. If you check the timestamp on these messages they were sent between March 15-16. It’s nearly April and still, no resolution. Does Facebook have a dedicated team that do nothing but search for profiles and go “hmm this guy … he doesn’t look like a Mark to you. He looks more like a Jim. He’s probably lying. Let’s ban him.”

Dear Facebook, in the Philippines it is quite common to have repeated one syllable names for your nickname. So yes, we have people whose names are “TonTon,” “Nana,” “LotLot,” “Jojo,” and “Len-Len.”

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

18 replies on “Facebook bans Filipino for using his real name”

really..? so bad, i had been addicted to facebook lately, compared to FS.. and yikes, how would i react if facebook will ban my profile for using my nickname.. hmf..

what a poof..!

I’m glad this was already resolved. But the possibility remains I can be next on the chopping block. I’m using a nickname instead of my first name. What works in my favor is mine is not a repeating syllable. 🙂

Facebook is asking us to help translate it in Filipino, right? They should not stop there. They might as well embrace this Filipino penchant for nicknames with repeating syllables. Must be strange to their palate this Filipino quirky trait, but in the name of broadening their reach into the Filipino masses they have to assimilate this.

Di ba, Mattmatt Zuckerberg? lol

My real nickname Frenchy is not acceptable there too. I need to change its spelling to Frenchee before Facebook accepted my registration way back 2 years ago. It’s the nickname that I was given since birth and I am more comfortable using it because I have a very common first name.

How odd.. but the facebook should know that we filipinos used repeated syllables for our nickname a lot. My family, relatives and close friends called me Joiejoie until now.

I lol’d. But yeah, I was using my real nickname offline – Mimi – but because suddenly my classmates from HS were one by one registering for fb, I figured I’d use my birthname – Elizabeth – but now that they’re almost all on fb already, I wanted to switch it back to Mimi … to add new friends who do know me by that name… and it was denied. lolzorz.

Hello Poster,

I wanted to quote Facebook’s first reply to your friend below:

“Facebook requires all profiles to be associated with a full, real name that corresponds to a single individual.”

So, I will take it as, the reason Facebook blocked your friend’s account is by using his nickname. Well I’m glad Facebook got your friend’s account back up again online.

I do think that they have a list of banned names (with nick names mostly on the list) to make it fair to people who put real, valid, and private information in Facebook. For example, I have my mobile and phone number and home address too in facebook.

So be sure not to make your names as one of those ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bangs 😉

Cheers mate,

mine was banned 3 days ago in the middle of a conversation with a friend using their chat service. I am very disappointed. I also did the necessary procedure just to recover my account but to no avail. Now I’m so frustrated because I cannot retrieve all the pictures, videos and all the information I stored in FB.


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