Facebook Japan Takes Hard Line, Banning Pseudo Names And Requires ID

Today February 8, some Japanese web users who are influential in tech communities like Hatena and Twitter, started reporting they were locked out from Facebook. After trying to log in, they were taken to the form, which title is “Complaints against a ban of your account, identity demanded”.

On the form, following information are asked to provide,

  • contact mail address
  • name
  • date of birth
  • mail address for log in if you can use it
  • scanned image of your identification paper – keep full name, date of birth and photo clear, you may hide other information

Some of the banned users reported it on Twitter, which are listed on Togetter [J]. There are names including an A-list blogger, popular Hatena users, web users who write not only blogs/tweets but also books and articles under their nickname.

Banning pseudo name users seem not Japan only (thanks Dominic), but many of ‘active’ social network users are using pseudo name and icon in Japan, so it may have a chilling effect on the recent Facebook boom by its movie and media coverages.

Facebook and its Japanese branch show their service’s principle. It seems to tell “If you do not like it Japan, you do not need to use Facebook”.

See Also:

Woman called Yoda blocked from Facebook – Telegraph in 2008


The following two tabs change content below.
@akky is one of the first Japanese pro-bloggers [J]. He also leads Asiajin, writes a tech column on The Japan Times, consults for some foreign companies interested in Japanese web market. (please inquire to akimoto on gmail.com).
  • http://twitter.com/benjaminjoffe Benjamin Joffe

    FB is definitely facing a challenge:
    – they have to differentiate
    – other networks are already strong with “virtual graph”
    So they are going all in with real name.
    Personally, I think this will stay a niche for quite some time. Anyway, good luck to them.

    • Tork

      The reason FB has such a huge company value compared to current income is because they are collecting a ton of information on their users. The more generally reliable that information is, the more they can charge for access to that information. Allowing fake names dilutes the value.

  • http://twitter.com/JeromeDessagne Jerome Dessagne

    Since I got no response on Twitter I’m posting here.

    Since last year, in some cases, Facebook seems to be asking for an ID scan in order to reactivate one’s account. This is neither an initiative of Facebook Japan, nor limited to Japan. They just translated the page used worldwide.

    As odd as this ID request might be, I really doubt it is related to a Pseudo banning operation in Japan, as your headline might suggest.

    • http://twitter.com/akky Akky Akimoto

      Thanks for comment, Jerome.

      It is not only in Japan. I mentioned a link that in the article.

      And those yesterday banned users were not spammers but active users. They seem to use non-real name and anime/CG icons.

      • http://twitter.com/JeromeDessagne Jerome Dessagne

        Thanks for your reply Akky.

        Still, we don’t know for sure that those users were banned because they used no real name and no photo. It could be anything, even an error from Facebook, we won’t know until we ask Facebook.

        Thus, Facebook asking for ID / Photo is for the account reactivation process only. It doesn’t concern users’ profile pages.

        • http://twitter.com/akky Akky Akimoto

          Some on the list came back to Facebook. By submitting the form they said, and their names are now changed to Japanese names.

          • http://twitter.com/JeromeDessagne Jerome Dessagne

            Did Facebook explicitly told these users they were banned because they were using pseudo ? If not, please recognize you’re making a hypothesis (and I agree it is an interesting one).

            Your headline on the other hand is a straight affirmation, and it’s now being retweeted by everybody.
            I think you should be careful with this.

  • http://www.thegeniusfiles.com thegeniusfiles

    Not a good sign for activists seeking change in authoritarian countries such as Egypt. Do not trust FB!

  • Pingback: David Martosko’s agent provocateuring on Facebook will be used to justify forcing Facebook users to “show their papers”. « Freedom and Linux