Facebook and names

Keith’s Grandpa Chick is 91 years old (may he live to be 120 and healthy!). Grandpa Chick’s real name is Channon – an anglicized version of the Hebrew name Elchanan. For a nonagenarian Grandpa Chick is amazingly techno-savvy. He’s great with email, spreadsheets, the internet and even Skype. A few months ago, Chick decided to join Facebook, probably to keep an eye on me…

So, he did what all new Facebook members do – he went to http://www.facebook.com and clicked to register as a new user. He filled out all the information – his first & last names, his date of birth and where he lives. And he got a message saying that Facebook requires all members to use their real first and last name, and it appears he is not using a genuine first name. He then received an email from Facebook requesting a copy of some sort of identification, to prove that Channon is his real name! When this initially happened, Keith & I told him not to send them anything at all, just forget about it. But Grandpa Chick doesn’t give up so easily. He really wanted to keep an eye on my Facebook activity, so he kept on trying.

Earlier this week, I was at his house, and he asked me to help him with something else on his PC. “While you’re at it”, he said, “could you try and help me join Facebook?”

So I filled out the online registration with him, and got the same message – that his name “Channon” is not a real name. This was followed up with another email requesting a copy of identification with his name on it.

Well, by now, my readers know that Vanessa does not appreciate this kind of crap. I stand up for what I believe in, and even though I wasn’t sure I wanted Grandpa Chick to see everything I put on Facebook, I couldn’t let Mark Zuckerberg get away with telling a 91 year old that his name is fake!

So, on behalf of Grandpa Chick, I responded to the email.

Dear Facebook,

I have been living with my name, Channon Band, for over 90 years. It is the name I was given at birth, and the name I have kept. I will not send you any identification to prove this to you. I would simply like to join Facebook, and if I am unable to do so with my real name, then Facebook will simply be one member short.

Sincerely Yours,

Channon Band, Esq.

It took less than 24 hours, and Grandpa Chick is now on Facebook, under his own name. I was one of his first Facebook friends.

Fight for what you want people! Don’t let the big guys get the better of you – not in schools, shuls, businesses or social media!

Welcome to Facebook Channon Band – please don’t be offended by anything I might put out there!

Probably no blog post next week, as I will be in Ireland freezing my tuches off.

Shabbat Shalom!

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