Facebook Won't Allow Users Named 'Arab'

Ooops: Automated filter blocks common name
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2010 7:25 AM CDT
Facebook Won't Allow Users Named 'Arab'
A screenshot taken of an attempt to make an account using the last name "Arab." And no, the email address isn't real, but the system gives a different error message for that.   (Facebook)

(Newser) – Facebook’s automated filters appear to be preventing anyone with the last name “Arab”—a fairly common Palestinian surname—from opening an account. A tipster told Gawker about the bug, and the site quickly verified it with a number of test accounts. The tipster added that her husband had been able to sign up years ago, but when he recently switched his language to Arabic script for fun, he wasn’t able to change it back.

She says both she and her husband have emailed Facebook several times, to no avail. It’s the kind of thing that shouldn’t happen, Gawker argues, given Mark Zuckerberg’s Utopian rhetoric about bridging cultural divides. And it looks especially bad on the heels of this fiasco. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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