Woman denied use of Facebook because of Native American name

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SALEM, Ore. (KPTV) — For five days, Brenna Happy Cloud was in Facebook purgatory. She tried repeatedly to log in, only to be told she was locked out. All of it, it turns out, was because of her name.

Happy Cloud, who is Native American, received responses from Facebook’s help desk, prompting her to validate her unusual name. She was asked for proof of identity, even a copy of her social security card. All the while, she had no access to her contacts, photos and messages.

“I was gone. And the world didn’t know where I was,” said Happy Cloud.

Happy Cloud finally figured out a way to get her account back online, but she had to change her screen name to her married name, Rojas, even though she is no longer with her husband.

“Other people can use their nicknames, inappropriate names, but I can’t use my real name,” said Happy Cloud. “It kind of hurts a little bit.”

Happy Cloud believes Facebook’s policies, in this instance, are discriminatory, that her Native American heritage is either being undermined or denied.

An email to Facebook’s Customer Service Department asking for comment on the situation was not returned.

 

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