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Salman Rushdie hissy-fit forces Facebook name U-turn

Site run by 'morons', huffs Satanic Verses writer

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Facebook has upset Salman Rushdie after the company initially refused to let the controversial author use his common name rather than his first name when signing up to the network.

The writer, who is a newcomer to the Web2.0 game, explained on Twitter that his full name is Ahmed Salman Rushdie.

"Amazing. 2 days ago FB deactivated my page saying they didn't believe I was me. I had to send a photo of my passport page. THEN..." he tweeted, "they said yes, I was me, but insisted I use the name Ahmed which appears before Salman on my passport and which I have never used.

"NOW... They have reactivated my FB page as 'Ahmed Rushdie,' in spite of the world knowing me as Salman. Morons. @MarkZuckerbergF? Are you listening?"

The author of The Satanic Verses, who was forced into hiding in 1989 when a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie was issued against him by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, continued to rant about his Facebook plight on Twitter.

"Maybe @MarkZuckerbergF is a phony. Is the real #Zuckerberg on Twitter? Where are you hiding, Mark? Come out here and give me back my name!" he huffed. "So if @finkd is the real #Zuckerberg: what are your people up to, sir? Why have I been denied my name on FB? An answer would be nice."

Rushdie kept up the pressure on the dominant social network by continuously tweeting to his 115,000 followers in the hope of getting a response from Zuckerberg's crew.

He argued that Facebook "forcing" him to change his name was akin to "forcing" F Scott Fitzgerald to have a Facebook profile with the name Francis Fitzgerald instead. He went on to list other people in the public eye who had commonly used their middle names, including James Paul MacCartney, George Orson Welles and William Bradley Pitt.

Eventually, Facebook gave in.

"Victory! #Facebook has buckled! I'm Salman Rushdie again. I feel SO much better. An identity crisis at my age is no fun," said the author.

He later added that the social network had sent him an apology.

"All is sweetness and light," was Rushdie's verdict. ®

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