Thursday, July 02, 2009

Facebook is two-faced, hypocritical, inconsistent and anti-Anglican

Readers and Communicants may recall that back in February His Grace reported that he had had his Facebook account disabled because he ‘was not a real person’.

It appears that a new policy was instituted which forbade religious titles, and so he was expunged without notice.

His Grace appealed, and obliged the Facebook gods with a change of name, becoming plain old Thomas Cranmer.

And they left him alone.

But His Grace, being of an inquisitive disposition, decided to pursue the matter, and politely asked why they permitted Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, not to mention King Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey.

Surely, if Archbishop Cranmer is disallowed then a fortiori must Cardinal Wolsey be.

As a result of the dialogue, merely for confronting Facebook with their inconsistency and hypocrisy, His Grace has now had his account disabled permanently. This was a most unacceptable birthday present.

The dialogue went as follows:

Dear Sir/Madam,
Name change request: could you please change ‘Thomas Cranmer’ to ‘Archbishop Cranmer’?

Hi,
Thanks for contacting Facebook. Before we respond personally, please review these common questions and answers regarding name change requests, which may be able to help you more quickly. If your question isn't answered here, please follow the instructions at the bottom of this email to contact us.

1. How do I change my name to a nickname?
2. How do I add a former or maiden name so I can easily be found in Search?
3. How do I change my full name to just my initial or remove my last name due to privacy reasons?
4. How do I add a title to my name?
5. How do I change the name on my profile to the name of my business?


Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for that, but it does not assist.

Being an archbishop, I simply wish to revert to ‘Archbishop Cranmer’.

Yours faithfully,
Thomas Cranmer

Hi Thomas,

Unfortunately, we cannot process this request as the use of religious or professional titles is not permitted within personal profiles. We apologize for any inconvenience this may pose.

Also note that if you would like to represent yourself as a reverend on the site, you can create a Facebook Page. A Facebook Page is a distinct presence, separate from a user profile, that allows public figures to represent themselves on Facebook. Facebook Pages are optimized so that you can communicate messages, distribute content, engage other users and capture new audiences through recommendations to their friends. You can create your Page by visiting the following link:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.

Let us know if you have any further questions regarding setting up your Facebook Page

Thanks,

Giorgio
User Operations
Facebook


Dear Georgio,

Thank you for that, but is there not a slight inconsistency in the application of your terms and condition?

You say you don't permit religious titles - Reverend, Bishop, Archbishop, etc.

Yet you manifestly do allow some to call themselves King Henry VIII, Governess Kat Ashley, Lady Eleanor Courtey etc., etc., (not to mention numerous historic personages which really are not their real names - Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour etc).

If you do not allow religious titles, why do you allow royal ones?

Yours sincerely,
Thomas Cranmer

Hi Thomas,

Unfortunately, we cannot process this request as the use of religious or professional titles is not permitted within personal profiles. We apologize for any inconvenience this may pose.

It is possible that these users had signed up for a Facebook account with their title before the policy was put into place. However, we are unable to process any future requests to change a user's name to anything but their full name. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Feel free to take a look at the privacy page where you can adjust who can find you in search or who can view your profile. Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Let us know if you have any further questions regarding setting up your Facebook Page

Thanks for contacting Facebook,

Giorgio
User Operations
Facebook


Dear Giorgio,

Archbishop Cranmer was registered before your change of policy, but was forced to amend the name afterwards when you sent an email demanding the change. Please check this in your records.

Why would you send such an email to Archbishop Cranmer but not to others?

If you allow 'Cardinal Wolsey' (and you do, please check) but not 'Archbishop Cranmer', you are actually guilty of religious discrimination, which is illegal under the EU Charter of Fundamental Human Rights, incorporated into UK law in the Human Rights Act 1998.

Please would you seek advice on this, or the matter will be pursued at a higher level.

Thank you.

Thomas Cranmer

Hi Thomas,

Unfortunately, we cannot process this request as the use of religious or professional titles is not permitted within personal profiles. We apologize for any inconvenience this may pose.

It is possible that these users had signed up for a Facebook account with their title before the policy was put into place. However, we are unable to process any future requests to change a user's name to anything but their full name. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Feel free to take a look at the privacy page where you can adjust who can find you in search or who can view your profile. Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Let us know if you have any further questions regarding setting up your Facebook Page

Thanks for contacting Facebook,

Giorgio
User Operations
Facebook


Dear Giorgio,

Thank you for this, but you appear to be cutting and pasting to avoid the issue:

1) You DO permit some religious titles:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508576710#/profile.php?sid=5b8dc1328b46dae2d42798c6a21ab469&id=100000004830541&hiq=cardinal%2Cwolsey&ref=search

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508576710#/profile.php?sid=5b8dc1328b46dae2d42798c6a21ab469&id=1783086719&hiq=cardinal%2Cwolsey&ref=search

etc., etc.

2) If these pre-dated your 'new' policy, they have been permitted to stand. Archbishop Cranmer was not. For some reason you singled out this account and demanded a change. This was apparently discriminatory.

3) By permitting 'Cardinal' but prohibiting 'Archbishop', you may actually be guilty of religious discrimination, insofar as the Anglican Communion does not admit cardinals, whether or not your policy is new.

You appear to have three options:

a) End the discrimination and permit the requested name change
b) Apply your policy equally and ban all religious titles on all accounts, no matter how old.
c) Let us take the case to court, which you will certainly lose under the equality provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Could you please advise your preferred course of action.

Many thanks,
Thomas Cranmer

Hi,

Fake accounts are a violation of our Terms of Use. Facebook requires users to provide their real first and last names. Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reactivate this account for any reason. This decision is final.

Thanks for your understanding,

Zoe
User Operations Analyst
Facebook


Dear Zoe,

What happened to Giorgio?

‘Fake’ accounts?

Would you please explain why you permit Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry VIII, both of whom have been dead since the 16th century, and Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, both of whom, at the last inspection, were puppets.

All of these accounts are manifestly 'fake' and violate your terms of use, yet you permit them.

With great respect, this enquiry is simply to ascertain why you apply your criteria strictly in some cases and not at all in others.

The question has been asked a number of times, but no-one seems inclined to respond. Why is this?

Thomas Cranmer

Hi,

Thanks for providing this information. At this time, we cannot verify the ownership of the account. Please reply to this email with a scanned image of a government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver's license) in order to confirm your ownership of the account. Please black out any personal information that is not needed to verify your identity (e.g., social security number). Rest assured that we will permanently delete your ID from our servers once we have used it to verify the authenticity of your account.

Additionally, please include all of our previous correspondence so that we can refer to your original email. Once we have received this information, we will reevaluate the status of the account. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thanks for contacting Facebook,

Zoe
User Operations Analyst
Facebook


Dear Zoe,

No-one in the UK is obliged to possess a 'government-issued photo-ID'.

And drivers' licences are two types - an EU one (with photo) and a UK one (without photo). Is Facebook presuming that all UK nationals must possess an EU drivers’ licence?

Is the request for photo identification to ensure that the picture on the account is really Thomas Cranmer? Because it was taken after many years of meticulous beard culture and after a few very bad months, hence the somewhat haggard and distraught appearance.

Are all other Facebook users obliged to provide photo ID? Is the addition of a photograph not simply an option, and if so why are you making it compulsory for this account only?

Why is Thomas Cranmer being singled out for this discriminatory treatment when you have fictional accounts from Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII, Ann Boleyn and Miss Piggy?

Has Miss Piggy provided you with photo ID? Which government issued her with it?

All the necessary emails are already in your possession.

Regards,
Thomas Cranmer

Hi,

Thank you for reporting this potential abuse on our site. We will review the reported material and remove anything that violates our Terms of Use. If warranted, we will either warn or disable the user responsible.

In the future, please feel free to use the "Report" links located near most pieces of content on the site to report offensive material to Facebook. We will then review the material and take appropriate action based on our Terms of Use. Rest assured that these reports will be kept confidential.

Thanks for contacting Facebook,

Zoe
User Operations Analyst
Facebook


Dear Zoe,

Abuse of your site?

You have now suspended the Thomas Cranmer account altogether. Is it now ‘Thomas’ which offends as well as ‘Archbishop’?

Is this an act of spite?

Thomas Cranmer violates none of your terms of service, unlike King Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey and Miss Piggy.

Could you please explain why this account has been deleted?

Regards,
Thomas Cranmer

Hi,

Fake accounts are a violation of our Terms of Use. Facebook requires users to provide their real first and last names. Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reactivate this account for any reason. This decision is final.

Thanks for your understanding,

Landon
User Operations
Facebook


Dear Landon,

What happened to Zoe? And Georgio?

And thank you for thanking me for my understanding, but there is none.

Could you please reinstate Thomas Cranmer, for ‘Thomas’ is not a religious title (though it ought to be).

Regards,
Thomas Cranmer

Hi,

Fake accounts are a violation of our Terms of Use. Facebook requires users to provide their real first and last names. Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reactivate this account for any reason. This decision is final.

Thanks for your understanding,

Faisal
User Operations
Facebook


Ahhhhhhhh.... Faisal...

His Grace's Readers and Communicants may be pleased to know that Facebook have permitted the account 'Ayatollah Cranmer’ (not a joke).

If you were previously a friend, and can be bothered, please re-register with His Grace's Islamic incarnation.

43 Comments:

Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Your Grace,

Truly amazing. I suspect they thought you were a real live archbishop, and that was what they were objecting to. What if the present tenant of Lambeth Palace, let's say, were to attempt to register with Facebook as "Archbishop Williams"? That would yield an interesting exchange of correspondence.

I have never had a Facebook account/profile/page or whatever it's called. I think now I never will. Or shall.

2 July 2009 at 15:28  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Petram,

No, the regulation would apply to all archbishops and bishops. The moment you enter the title it is automatically rejected, irrespective of the veracity, legitimacy or entitlement. They are simply prohibited titles, even to the present incumbent of Lambeth Palace.

Cardinals and Ayatollahs, however, may register with impunity.

2 July 2009 at 15:35  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Commiserations, Your Grace. Trying to reason with androids - the Georgios, Zoes and Faisals of this world - is always tiresome. These days I tend to take issue with the ones who impinge directly upon my well being and cash flow. This has become a common necessity since androids seem to proliferate in public services and local authorities.

I have always avoided joining sites such as Facebook and Twitter no matter how many invites from friends I receive. You have given me an excellent reason to continue to do so.

You put up a good, reasoned defence. Shame there wasn't a suitable IQ at the other end to actually discuss the disparity in an adult, informed manner.

2 July 2009 at 15:38  
Blogger Demetrius said...

Why don't you try John Rogers?

2 July 2009 at 15:44  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

But, Ayatollah, if you were to change your first name to Archbishop (possibly shortened to Archie), how could they possibly object?

2 July 2009 at 16:04  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace

This is the funniest exchange since Warner Bros tried to sue the Marx Bros because of misappropriation of the name Casablanca in their film 'A night in Casablanca'.


By the way with your new incarnation as Ayatollah Cranmer, surely the medium should be now called 'Fez book'

2 July 2009 at 16:09  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

I think you are back again - false alarm

2 July 2009 at 16:14  
Blogger Frugal Dougal said...

Very enlightening. Although I would defend my frugality (and indeed my dougalness) Frugal Dougal is not my real name, and I have a Facebook page.

Facebook is not only anti-Christian, as the Jewish Internet Defence Force can testify:

http://www.thejidf.org/2008/11/small-sampling-of-this-weeks-terrorist.html

http://www.thejidf.org/2008/12/antisemitic-facebook-groups-in.html

2 July 2009 at 16:29  
Anonymous Orwellian Prophet said...

Your Grace,

I am astonished at your patience, perseverance and determination. A lesser personage would surely have given up.

Trying to correspond with large web based organisations is hopeless. They are staffed with a handful of Droids whose only function is to launch whatever standard email response seems to fit the original enquiry.
The strategy is to grind us down until we either comply with their requirements or give up the fight.

You eventually cornered them so your account was summarily zapped. Typical reaction.

Top marks for giving them a hard time. May your Ayatollaship prosper.

2 July 2009 at 16:40  
Blogger The Church Mouse said...

The Church Mouse has had similar and equally frustrating correspondence with Facebook. They won't allow any profile for Mouse for similar reasons - they say it is not my real name, so I'm not allowed to use it. Despite pointing out this would rule out the likes of Cliff Richard or Elton John, they do not listen.

Mouse has settled for a page, and occasionally slagging off Facebook on my blog.

2 July 2009 at 16:55  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Ultramontane Grumpy Old Catholic,

When His Grace worked out that Facebook accounts were identified solely by an email address, establishing another 'Thomas Cranmer was elementary.

His Grace has lost all of his 'friends', but feels sure they will seek and find.

2 July 2009 at 16:57  
Anonymous Got the Guts to wear God said...

Ha, ha:0)

Ayatollah Cranmer! I laughed out loud...this was such a funny post. Thanks for lighting up my day.

2 July 2009 at 17:02  
Blogger Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

Bravo, Your Grace!

It is difficult negotiating with the faceless online Terminators. But it must be done pour encourager les autres.

Ayatollah Cranmer! lol!

This has to be the funniest call ever to a market researcher

2 July 2009 at 17:22  
Blogger Bishop Alan Wilson said...

Your Grace,

I wonder if what angered Giorgio and Zoe was something subtly different. Do you, indeed, have the right to use the name Thomas? Are you in fact a biological Twin? If so, all you had to do was write to Giorgio and Zoe c/o Tracey Island, enclosing a sample of assorted bodily fluids, for DNA testing. Easy as that.

2 July 2009 at 17:27  
Blogger dutchlionfrans1953 said...

These guys have the brain and morals of a demon in hell! Just check the testimonies in this website: Testimonies of people who were in Hell wil confirm this verdict!

(Click on the blue text to open the site! )

You find talking to a wall more humaine.

2 July 2009 at 17:48  
Blogger The Hopeful Ordinand said...

Your Grace, I wonder if the Ayatollah would struggle to create a facebook group for the Archbishop, such that he, and we, might become fans?

http://www.facebook.com/groups/create.php

2 July 2009 at 18:15  
Blogger alfstone said...

I can't decided if Facebook is manned by McDonald's rejects or former civil servants but it was a good laugh. For devilment I have just signed up as Bishop Cranmer and they accepted me. Perhaps you should have refused the promotion. And a happy birthday to you.

2 July 2009 at 18:16  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

Your Grace -

This has really made my day.

Why not arrange for the correspondence to be published, perhaps in the Daily Telegraph, so that a wider audience can all enjoy it? I'm sure that your good friend Dan the MEP and Telegraph blog writer would be happy to assist.

As always in these matters, it's difficult to know whether one should be looking at conspiracy or cock-up theory to explain Face Book's position (or lack of)

But perhaps an interesting test case would be to invite the ABC himself to open up a Facebook page. He, after all, would be able to supply the (uniquely) requested personal data.

Certainly Facebook appear to have made idiots of themselves here. Your correspondents Zoe et al ought to have realized that they were not dealing simply with Joe Public (now there's a thought for another account name!) and, as they say, "passed the matter to high authority" before it got out of hand.

And, too, I have now lost even the faintest interest in having a Facebook account myself.

2 July 2009 at 18:22  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

Your Grace -

Oh, and a very happy birthday, too.

Do have a good one

2 July 2009 at 18:23  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

I am in awe of Your Grace’s patience, reasonableness and doggedness. As you are now an Ayatollah, please take the opportunity to sprinkle a few fatwas around.

2 July 2009 at 18:47  
Blogger ZZMike said...

Looks like you've scaled the Facebookian hierarchy, from drone Giorgio to Analyst Zoe (without the diacritical mark? That would rhyme with "toe"), back down to mere operative Landon, and over to Rechnungsmeister Faisal, declaring a ukase against you.

One has to wonder what the advantages of a Facebook presence are - one would think that only the common folk (like King Henry VIII) would allow their countenances to appear on a public forum.

I remember the advice of an upper-class matron (your or ours, I don't remember) who advised her offspring that the only times a respectable person's name should ever appear in the newspaper are when they're born, married, or buried.

That's a fascinating report of your journey, like Josef K.s, through Facebook's labyrinthine corridors of doom. I picture each of these persons sitting behind a ten-foot tall desk.

dutchlion: "(Click on the blue text to open the site! )"

So that's how they work. I never knew.

I would be interested in hearing other people's experiences with Facebook accounts. As for myself, I side with the upper-class matron.

Except, of course, for noteworthy blogs such as this.

2 July 2009 at 19:15  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

My condolences on this inconvenience and seemingly blatant discrimination. Perhaps you really should seriously consider pursuing legal action? It is unacceptable that they permit religious titles except than C of E ones (Cardinal etc). A challenge should be made.

2 July 2009 at 20:19  
Anonymous the reccusant said...

You Excellency Ayatollah Cranmer,

Not being a devotee of face book I didn’t miss you, please don’t hold it against me or issue a fatwa, I don’t believe it is Wajib yet to be a member. I know the Anglican Communion are experiencing some difficulties at this time but really Islam? You don’t do things by halves, still you never did. Admit it you fancied the title. Got bored with ‘His Grace’, wanted promotion to ‘His Excellency’, well you could have had that in Rome you know, you cuddah been a contender.

What did Sir Thomas Moore say at his trial to Richard Rich after the latter’s perjury?

“Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?”

“Why Thomas, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Mecca?”

Assalamu alaikum You Excellency, Assalamu alaikum.

2 July 2009 at 20:46  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Your Grace.
Thank you for a good belly laugh, in your case the computer really did say no. well I always knew that facebook were a real Mickey Mouse outfit.

2 July 2009 at 21:22  
Anonymous woman on a raft said...

Bravo, Your Ayatollah

When you said "or the matter will be pursued at a higher level", how much Higher were you thinking of?

2 July 2009 at 22:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you made this story up people would not believe you ! I got kicked off facebook for using a church name instead of my own !

2 July 2009 at 22:33  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Unbelievable your grace , auotmatons unable to reason there ouwn rulings , how very nu labour visionary.

i shall look forward to Miss piggys unmasking , hi yahhhhh

2 July 2009 at 22:40  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

I can't get off facebook. I've have written so many times to unsubscribe without success. Thanks, now I know what to do!

3 July 2009 at 00:35  
Anonymous Voyager said...

But you could register as Mary Tudor or even Ann Hathaway and the actress could not object in the latter case.

Gacebook is absurd and frankly a waste of time. Why deliver all your contacts to Menwith Hill or GCHQ for tracking ?

It is pointless to work with such sites simply because they are in league with government agencies like HMRC and the MI/GCHQ/Menwith Hill crowd.

Facebook is also sucking up so much bandwidth that it is slowing the Net

3 July 2009 at 06:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's impossible for Satan to be diametrically opposed to Christianity. I am always cautions about any train that is diametrically opposed in both its destination and point of departure.

This attitude of absolute bipolar disassociation is nothing more or less than mental illness of the severe kind, which usually has its origins firmly grounded in child mental cruelty.

Even Satan needs the Christian story. During His time in the desert, Christ was tempted on the mountain. Satan is a persuader of evil deeds, he suggested it for Christ to jump, if he was diametrically opposed he would have slung him off physically.

3 July 2009 at 08:41  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Voyager - my thoughts too.

We know also that Google and Yahoo collect data from us every time we log on, and leave cookies and who knows what in our computers. What with all this, plus the government owned banks - freedom and privacy seem to diminish by the minute.

My only consolation is that idiots like those at Facebook will be unable to cope with the vast amounts of information they gather. Though clearly that works against us, whenever they want to turn the digital thumbscrews!

3 July 2009 at 09:18  
Blogger haddock said...

Facebook would not accept Captain as part of my name, so I had to abbreviate.... if they thought me a real person they should have realised, from my submitted photograph, I had not aged since the early Tin-Tin books.

3 July 2009 at 09:24  
Blogger Angry Steve said...

You should try to convince them that + is a legitimate character in an email address, and that when they change their email system away from compliance with RFCs, they should perhaps change them back...

I gave up and created a new mail alias for myself. It was easier than dealing with the Facebook technoweenies.

Facebook is truly run by a bunch of incompetents.

3 July 2009 at 15:16  
Anonymous newmanite said...

John Henry Newman (the Oxford incarnation) was deleted too, after gaining many friends. JHN suspects Freddie Faber (still on Facebook when last checked) was behind it.

3 July 2009 at 17:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace's commitment to proper nomenclature will, I am sure, mean you share my distress at the following on your site: -

"Margaret Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher LG, OM, PC, FRS.
(Prime Minister 1979-1990)"

Surely M is a Garter Knight, and therefore KG rather than the (unknown) "LG"?

3 July 2009 at 18:47  
Anonymous Mike Goggin said...

I'm bound to enquire why Your Grace would want a Facebook account at all? It seems a very curious choice of pulpit.

4 July 2009 at 07:42  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Goggin,

His Grace is not sure.

It seemed like a trivial goodish idea at the time, but his right to be styled an archbishop has become a point of principle.

4 July 2009 at 11:49  
Anonymous Sir Henry Morgan said...

Your Ayatollahship

Re Haddock's comment above, and his Facebook tribulations re. the name 'Captain'. ... Think I should try and register with Facebook? According to my passport, driver's licence, SS records etc, my full name really is 'Captain Sir Henry Morgan'.

4 July 2009 at 13:54  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Thankyou Geek for the funniest prank call ever. Anyone down in the dumps should read this.Keep them coming.

5 July 2009 at 04:28  
Blogger Archdruid Eileen said...

You're right, your Grace. Archdruids are allowed...

6 July 2009 at 22:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He stoops to conquer, Your Grace, yes indeed.

8 July 2009 at 00:59  
OpenID philgroom said...

For your amusement, Your Grace: Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you have to stop reading…

14 July 2009 at 06:13  
Anonymous Si Fractus Fortis said...

I think the real problem is that Georgio, Zoe and the rest have absolutely no idea who Archbishop Cranmer was. They therefore think you are trying to impersonate a real live clergyman and will presumably try to touch your "congregation" at some stage for the traditional fiver under false pretenses.

For the benefit of some of the authors of other comments I should point out that, as Your Grace is of course well aware, your title of Archbishop was granted by the Pope and therefore is not an Anglican title.

19 July 2009 at 12:13  

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