WEIRD NEWS
09/17/2014 06:11 pm ET Updated Sep 20, 2014

Facebook's Name Policy Won't Accept Chase Nahooikaikakeolamauloaokalani Silva

Chase Nahooikaikakeolamauloaokalani Silva has a bone to pick with Facebook.

Last week, the social media platform froze Silva's account because of a policy that suspends accounts suspected of fake names. Facebook says they want you to "always know who you're connecting with," and the policy was enacted to help "keep our community safe."

But his 29-letter middle name is real and the site doesn't make it easy for him to prove it.

"That's my name," Silva wrote in a Facebook post, shortly after he was alerted to make the change. "I am a proud Hawaiian who wants to be able to display my Hawaiian given name."

The lengthy name, Silva told HuffPost, means "to be strong and draw strength from heaven above." His great-grandmother who spoke the Native Hawaiian language fluently selected it for him.

He shortened it on Facebook to just the first letter to appease the policy because he said there was no easy way for him to access his account without first making the change. Then, there's a series of informational pages and links that lead to a form where users can submit approved documents to confirm their identity.

"We've always required that people use their real identity on their Facebook profiles," Andrew Souvall, a representative for Facebook told HuffPost in an email, adding that people tend to use "fake names to engage in bad behavior" online. "We also recognize that a person’s real identity is not necessarily the name that appears on their legal documentation," he said, "and that’s why we accept other forms of identification."

Facebook's recent policy implementation caused an uproar among performers and drag queens in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community who identify with their stage names online and in real life. After a group of LGBT activists threatened to protest outside of Facebook's San Francisco office, company officials agreed to discuss their concerns.

Silva, a self-described "proud gay male," doesn't plan on contacting Facebook to prove his name, and he says he shouldn't have to. He believes that Facebook shouldn't tell its 829 million active users daily what names they can and cannot use.

"Facebook should not be able to dictate what your name is, what you go by, what you answer to," he told HuffPost. "Aside from the LGBT community, there are rape victims, abuse victims, even teachers, who use aliases because they don't want people to contact them. It's a protection of your identity."

For Silva, his full, given name is a "badge of honor."

"It's not a standard name, obviously, in America's eyes," said Silva, who was born and raised on Oahu before moving to Seattle in 2008, "but that's the name that I'm proud of."

HuffPost

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