Activist: Using a Pen Name Got Me Booted Off Facebook

...but Zuckerberg's dog can have a page?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2011 9:30 AM CST
Chinese Journalist Michael Anti, Born Zhao Jing, Kicked Off Facebook for Using Pen Name
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, is seen in this Monday, Sept. 27, 2010 file photo at the NBC News' "Education Nation" Summit, in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Michael Anti is a well-known Chinese journalist and activist with nearly 36,000 Twitter followers—but since Anti is not the name he was born with, Facebook closed his account on the basis that he wasn’t using his real name. Anti, born Zhao Jing, has used the pen name for more than 10 years and says even his friends call him An Ti. But that wasn’t enough for Facebook, which said it would only accept the name used on his government identity card—even though, as Anti points out, Mark Zuckerberg’s dog is allowed to have a page on the social networking site. "It's insulting. They think my academic and journalistic work is less real than Zuckerberg's dog?" he tells the Guardian.

The incident seems to parallel one in 2005, when Microsoft removed his blog following pressure from Chinese officials. Anti doesn’t know why his page was targeted this time around, since choosing a professional name is common in China, but he suspects someone reported him. Facebook is defending the decision, GlobalPost notes: In an email, a rep for the site explains, “To be clear, Mark Zuckerberg created a Page, not a Profile for his new dog. Creating a Page—rather than a Profile—for Beast is exactly what we recommend for people to do in cases where they want to use Facebook as something other than their real self.” (More Michael Anti stories.)

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