Like many people, Salman Rushdie goes by his middle name, even on Facebook, which prefers, apparently, that folks go by their first. This Monday saw the two sides come to a head-to-head public battle. After unceremoniously deactivating Salman Rushdie’s account until he complied with a passport copy request to verify his identity, Facebook reinstated his active status but changed the name on his profile: “Salman Rushdie,” as it appears on the cover of the gazillions of books he’s sold, to “Ahmed Rushdie,” as an airport customs official might greet him. Yikes! would be an understatement.
Rushdie did not waste time in seeking a rectification. After getting nowhere with Facebook’s tech support, he decided to change his medium and put his appeal out 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!
That worked. Just two hours into his plucky online campaign Rushdie, informed his followers that Facebook had relented:
Facebook has buckled! I’m Salman Rushdie again. I feel SO much better. An identity crisis at my age is no fun.
Along the way, Mr. Rushdie managed to get the #MiddleNameUsers hashtag going and to bring to the world’s attention the fact that both James “Paul” McCartney and William Bradley “Brad” Pitt go by their middle names. That’s Rushdie at the far right, standing next to Voltaire and Christopher Hitchens.