Identity Theft

Just to let everyone know, Facebook has locked us out of our account and are demanding we send them Government ID before they let us back in. Facebook: we cannot send you Government ID of a PEN NAME. We’re writers. We want to be known by our writing profile, that is how you build up a following and readers. Our real identities are private and we will NOT be forced to put them online. Also, how DARE you, Facebook! You are a social networking site, not a fascist state. We have now lost access to our Calamityville Horror page and all the book pages we set up and we’ve lost access to fans of those pages. Those pages are still up, but we don’t have control over them now. Even if we were to set up a new profile, we have no way of becoming admins of these pages. Now they’re at risk of being hacked. The one good thing is that our friend, Wil set up our fanclub for us, so he has now made our sister admin of it, so she can control it. We can’t access all the others though. They have taken down our personal profile. Search for Cat Lynx Raven on Facebook. We do not exist anymore.

It seems they’ve done this before. There are reports from January 2013 and October 2013, where they targeted hundreds of people on both Facebook and Instagram. Facebook claimed they were legitimate requests. How can demanding we send some faceless social site private information be legitimate? What are they planning on doing with it? Selling it on to the highest bidder? How about you prove who YOU are, Facebook? Again, how can we send you proof of our pen name? They don’t issue driving licences and passports under pen names. We’ve emailed Facebook about this and have been spamming them on both our C L Raven and Calamityville Horror Twitter accounts.

We understand that it’s easy to set up accounts under fake names and that is how paedophiles and criminals operate, but there is a big difference between setting up a fake account to prey on people and setting up an account under your writing name. Facebook, all you have to do is Google us and you will see that every social media account we have is under our pen name.

Not only have we lost access to our pages, which we have worked hard on to build up a following, but we have also lost access to our friends. There are people we’ve known on there since we first joined Facebook. They’re not on Twitter. So now we have no way of talking to them. We’ve lost access to readers. This will affect our livelihood. We’ve lost access to Calamityville fans. How will the people who only like the Facebook page find out about us getting lost? Why are we being punished? We have never posted anything inflammatory or indecent. Unless they find photos of our pets offensive. Has someone reported us as a fake page? If they have, they will wish they’d never heard of us.

So if you wish to keep in touch with us, follow this blog or follow our Twitter accounts – @clraven @CalamityHorror or subscribe to our newsletter. You can also write on the C L Raven Fanclub and Calamityville Horror pages. We won’t see it but we’ll get people to check them from time to time and report back. We don’t see this getting resolved soon, if ever.

You want a war, Facebook? You’ve got one. You will not silence us.

**UPDATE** We’ve sent Facebook an IRS tax form with our pen name and date of birth, as they say that’s all they require, plus a letter from the IRS. They won’t accept it. So we’ve decided to fight back. We’ve started a petition to ask Facebook to allow writers/artists/actors to use their professional names on their personal profiles. You can sign it here.

2 Comments

  1. So were you ever able to get the situation taken care of? You weren’t the only authors I saw who got hit by this same issue. Facebook seems to periodically go on these wacky crusades and the fact that they’re where the audience is means that can usually get away with it.

    • yeah, we scanned one of our passports and blacked out everything except the name and date of birth, along with one of our book covers and told them in no uncertain terms we wanted to use our account under our pen name. They agreed. We’re still annoyed about it 😀


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