A man whose name made him an internet sensation said on Sunday that he is grateful for the support he has received from millions.
Phuc Dat Bich, a 23-year-old Vietnamese-Australian man, had struggled to get Facebook to accept that his name was genuine. Bich posted a photo of his passport on his Facebook page back in January, saying that he'd had his account closed several times. "I've been accused of using a false and misleading name of which I find very offensive," Bich said.
In his most recent post, Bich said that he'd hoped he'd brightened peoples' days. "I'd like to mention that I am very grateful to those who have been supportive of certain names that populate in different cultures," Bich said. "We live in a diverse and multicultural society and the fact that there are people out there who are supportive and encouraging really makes me happy."
It isn't the first time that Facebook has falsely accused a user of not using a real name. Jemma Rogers, from southeast London, was locked out of her account for using the name Jemmaroid Von Laalaa. But Facebook refused to give her account back even after changing her name via deed poll. Facebook eventually reactivated the account.
The real name policy has caused significant controversy. Activists highlight numerous groups who have been affected by the policy, including transgender people, native Americans, and women seeking to escape from domestic violence. At the start of the month, Facebook modified the policy in a bid to alleviate some of these concerns.
Despite these changes, issues remain. Last week, a woman called Isis Anchalee was locked out of her account. "Facebook thinks I'm a terrorist," she tweeted. "Apparently sending them a screenshot of my passport is not good enough for them to reopen my account." She had to send the requested information to Facebook three times before the company unlocked her account.