#Arts & Entertainment

For quite a while now, author after author are having their pen name profiles blocked, suspended, and deactivated. Facebook's policy is that if it is not your legal name, then it is not allowed. However, this policy was changed not too long ago to accommodate those in the LGBT community, especially those who use a stage name (i.e. drag queens.) To allow this for one community yet denying another is unfair. The IRS knows our pen names as we supply Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc, with both our legal names and pen names. The government does not have a problem with it, so why does Facebook. How hard is it for Facebook to add a feature under the profiles that allows you to supply them with your legal name, yet only show your stage name, pen name, etc to the public.

The use of pen names/pseudonyms is not a new practice. Writers a variety of genres and markets have used them for hundreds of years. There was a time many women wrote under a man's name in order to have their work accepted among the masses. Many authors use pseudonyms for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is to ensure they and their family maintain their privacy. Some authors' family and friends may not understand or accept the genre they write, and Facebook is denying them the right to use a pen name. Others have careers that may be affected by their chosen genre. Or in the cases of current or retired members of law enforcement or the military they run the risk of being tracked down by individuals with vendettas. There are also people who have been victims of domestic violence, whose lives would be at risk if their legal names were revealed. Is Facebook going to protect them? No.

So as a result, Facebook is basically saying that if you use a pen name, they will not allow you to promote your product. Your marketing, they say, can only be done under a page, which by their admission, only reaches less than 20% of a target audience. Other social medias allow people to promote their brand under whatever name that brand is. For authors, that brand is their name whether it is their legal name or a pen name.

We understand Facebook is dealing with thousands of other accounts out there that are being used to harass, troll, bully, etc. other people. There are plenty of people out there with ten, twenty, one hundred accounts under a variety of names. All we are asking for is a way to have a profile under our brand name for marketing, socialization, networking, etc. If we have to supply a legal name with a pen name, there needs to be a way to ensure both names will not appear on the profile, yet Facebook can track who those accounts belong to. An author can easily supply information needed from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc. that confirms the pen name is legally connected to the author's real name.

So please, Facebook, stop harassing authors who are simply trying to market their product and brand while keeping their real life private. Thank you.

We, the undersigned, call on Facebook to allow authors, actors, musicians, and others in the arts, to use a pen name, stage name, or other brand name, on a profile page in order to socialize with our target audience on a regular and daily basis.

We request that Facebook modify their policies and profile 'sign up' information to allow said pen name, stage name or other brand name to be the only name that appears to the public on the profile.

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The Allow Authors to have Profiles Under Their Pen Names on Facebook petition to Facebook. was written by Samantha A. Cole and is in the category Arts & Entertainment at GoPetition.