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Facebook Suspends, Then Restores Innocent 'Isis' Account

  • VOA News

A young woman named Isis had her Facebook account temporarily suspended.

A young woman named Isis had her Facebook account temporarily suspended.

Her first name is Isis, and that temporarily cost a young woman her Facebook account.

The young software engineer discovered this week that her account on Facebook had been suspended, presumably because "Isis" is also widely known as an acronym in English for the extremist group Islamic State.

She protested to the social media giant in a series of tweets: "Why would you disable my personal account? MY REAL NAME IS ISIS ANCHALEE."

Other users pointed out that Isis has long been known as the name of an ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility and wisdom.

Previously on VOA: The Techtonics blog profiled Isis Anchalee, who also goes by Isis Wenger, about her campaign to end stereotypes in science and technology fields

Anchalee said she sent Facebook her personal information three times, including a scanned image of her passport showing her full name, but there was no immediate response.

She also tweeted to everyone online: "Facebook thinks I'm a terrorist. Apparently sending them a screenshot of my passport is not good enough for them to reopen my account."

That may have done the trick. Late Tuesday an unsigned note from Facebook to Anchalee said, "Hi Isis, Thanks for verifying your identity. We've unlocked your account. ... Sorry for the inconvenience."

Isis Anchalee is somewhat of a known entity on social media, having created the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer to raise awareness about sexism in the engineering profession.

Her tale of her Facebook woes spread the story further, and news organizations peppered Facebook for a response. The company eventually said: "This was an error made as part of a fake account reporting process and we're sorry for the trouble it caused."