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Rushdie wins battle of name with Facebook

The Booker prize winner has received an apology from Facebook after the social network deactivated his account, in which he referred to himself by his middle name, and insisted he used his first name Ahmed

The writer Salman Rushdie hit Twitter yesterday morning with a flurry of exasperated posts.

Facebook, he wrote, had deactivated his account, demanded proof of identity and then turned him into Ahmed Rushdie, which is how he is identified on his passport.


Lots in a name: Salman Rushdie's Twitter account was deactivated over
the weekend and he had to send a photo of his passport to prove who
he was. Pic/ Getty Images


He had never used his first name, Ahmed, he pointed out; the world knows him as Salman.

But Facebook, which has strict real name policies, had insisted on Ahmed -- the novelist's first name.
Rushdie says Facebook has "buckled" after he began tweeting about the row.

"Victory! #Facebook has buckled! I'm Salman Rushdie again. I feel so much better. An identity crisis at my age is no fun. Thank you Twitter!" wrote the British Indian author, who is known as SalmanRushdie on Twitter.
"Just received an apology from The #Facebook Team. All is sweetness and light."

Twitter ridicule
Rushdie, aged 64, told about his run-in with Facebook in a series of tweets.

He says the social site even deactivated his account over the weekend "saying they didn't believe I was me".
Rushdie recounts that he had to send a photo of his passport to Facebook, which led to the reactivation of his account - but only as Ahmed Rushdie.

Angered by this, the writer then decided to turn to what he described as "ridicule by the Twitterverse" about the row.

"Dear #Facebook, forcing me to change my FB name from Salman to Ahmed Rushdie is like forcing J Edgar to become John Hoover. Or, if F Scott Fitzgerald was on #Facebook, would they force him to be Francis Fitzgerald? What about F Murray Abraham?" he tweeted.

A number of Rushdie's followers retweeted his posts and shortly afterwards Facebook changed his account to Salman Rushdie.

Controversial Rushdie
Rushdie lived in hiding under police protection for many years after the fatwa issued in 1989 against him by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini over his novel The Satanic Verses.
A devout secularist, Rushdie backed Commons Leader Jack Straw over comments in 2006 on Muslim women and veils. Salman said veils "suck" as they were a symbol of the "limitation of women".

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