By Sudarshana Banerjee
“There was once in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name.” — Haroun And The Sea of Stories.
“Where are you hiding, Mark? Come out here and give me back my name,” tweeted Salman Rushdie, one of the most prolific icons of current English Literature. More tweets in the same vein followed. “Why have I been denied my name on FB? An answer would be nice.” “They have reactivated my FB page as “Ahmed Rushdie,”in spite of the world knowing me as Salman. Morons.” What did Facebook deserve to merit such diatribe? Rob a good man of his middle name.
Salman Rushdie is actually Ahmed Salman Rushdie. When he opened a Facebook account, Facebook started calling him ‘Ahmed Rushdie,’ focusing on the writer’s first name, as per the social networking site’s naming policy. The author took obvious affront; being known as ‘Salman Rushdie’ all his life, he refused to be Ahmed.
Rushdie tried to get his name back quite a few times, but Facebook turned him down everytime, even going to the extent of deactivating his Facebook account because they thought he was an impersonator. When reaching out to tech support and even emailing them a picture of his passport failed, Rushdie turned to Twitter.
Now we all know Twitter is the moden equivalent of a Daniel come to judgement, and in Rushdie’s case also the microblogging site did not disappoint. “Am now hoping that ridicule by the Twitterverse will achieve what I can’t,” Rushdie tweeted. It did. Facebook is now calling Salman Rushdie just that. Here is his Facebook page.
“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,” tweeted Rushdie. Facebook was gracious enough to apologize in acquiescence. “Just received an apology from The #Facebook Team. All is sweetness and light,” Rushdie tweeted.