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How Facebook Has Failed Porn

If you’ve ever wondered why adult performers go by stage names, I can explain that. It’s all about safety. Even mainstream actors go by stage names, like Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie and Christopher Walken. People respect their stage names and the same should be true for porn stars, but that’s not the case with Facebook.

Facebook has decided to go on an all out witch-hunt about people using their “real names”. The drag queens took them on and won. Controversial writer Salman Rushdie was even given static about his name, and that’s his real name. He does have a “Sir” and an “Ahmed” in front of his name, but Salman Rushdie is what the world knows him as. I doubt that Facebook gives this kind of drama to 50 Cent. Facebook has also harassed Native Americans into listing their “real names”. But, the group of people that outrages me the most is their treatment of adult performers. Make that anyone in adult, because I now have this issue with Facebook. I now know how the porn performers feel.

About two weeks ago, Facebook logged me out of my account on my cell phone and would not let me log in until I gave my “real name”. Erika Icon is my real name—I have been going by it over 20 years as a writer, artist and publicist, and have had a Facebook account under that name for about five years. All the sudden it’s an issue, because probably some hater reported me to Facebook, which is the same thing that happened to Alana Evans and Marabelle Blue at Kinke Magazine.

I played their little game, so I could get into my account. They asked for my real name and I put in Erika Icon. Nope, that didn’t work with their crafty bots. So, I put in Erika and my mother’s maiden name. Well, that worked. Once logged on, I was informed that I couldn’t change my name for 60 days. Yes, 60. Then, people started to ask me if I got married and what was the name change about.

I asked around, did some research and wrote to Facebook via email. No response, of course, and a few bounce backs. Then, I tried to submit a report online, which was almost impossible. So I submitted a report about my email being used without my permission. This started the dialogue between either a bot or an outsourced worker and me. I explained my case and sent several links to articles written about me, stories about my clients and my company website. I even let them know Comso interviewed me. Then, I got this little gem from them:

Let’s see Icon is my name in every day life. And, no I’m not sending over my ID. I explained to them and reiterated on the safety issue. Then, I got this from Angus in Community Operations:

Yes, another canned response from the dictatorship known as Facebook. Of course, they didn’t read what I wrote them. I let them know this needed to be changed immediately and I wanted to speak to a supervisor. I also informed them that if this wasn’t fixed, they were not going to like the PR they’d be getting. Not a good idea to mess with a publicist. And of course, that ceased all communication from them.

So, here I am informing you of this. I’m just a cog in the porn world wheel being harassed by Facebook into using my “real name”. Industry peeps and fans, you need to speak out on this—it’s not right they’re going after the adult industy. Go under “Report a Problem” on your dashboard and pick any problem and report about this. Of course, there’s no form for this specific issue. Also, feel free to write them at [email protected]. Or use this handy form, I found online today https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/174964429275926.

The next step is I’m going to make this very public. I will be contacting several adult and mainstream media outlets. The more coverage and the more this is brought to light, the stupider Facebook will look and maybe they will change this asinine policy.

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