Woman behind #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign suspended from Facebook because her first name is Isis

By midian182 · 27 replies
Nov 18, 2015
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  1. On August 1 of this year, platform engineer Isis Anchalee wrote a short essay for Medium that highlighted some of the examples of sexism she encountered as a female working in the technology industry. She started the #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign after featuring in an ad that drew criticism from some commentators who claimed it was marketed toward women, and that Anchalee looked “too sexy” in it. Yet despite gaining online fame through her actions, Facebook disabled her account earlier this week because of her first name, Isis.

    The 22-year-old Tweeted that her social media account could not be reactivated because Facebook suspected her of having ties with the terrorist group. “Facebook thinks I’m a terrorist. Apparently sending them a screenshot of my passport is not good enough for them to reopen my account,” she wrote. One of Anchalee's Facebook friends noted that their message thread had been marked as spam.

    This all happened just two days after Anchalee had posted a Tweet detailing the daily challenges she faced because of her first name. One Twitter user claimed to know someone who had also had their account suspended for the same reason and gave up trying to get it reactivated.

    Shortly after posting her Tweet, Anchalee was contacted by Facebook researcher Omid Farivar, who publicly apologized and quickly reinstated her account.

    Two weeks ago, Facebook announced that it would make several improvements to its real names policy that asks users to refrain from adding symbols, punctuation, unusual characters, professional or religious titles, or “offensive or suggestive words of any kind.” The policy had come under fire from certain users who say they are unfairly targeted by the restrictions. In August, an Arizona couple claimed they were banned from Facebook until they could prove that their last name really was Avatar.

    The US Social Security website shows 8789 people have been named Isis since the year 2000. Earlier this year, 50,000 people signed a petition asking news organizations to stop using the name ISIS to refer to the terrorist group, as it is harmful to girls constantly hearing their name associated with the terror organization. Anchalee has suggested that referring to the group as Daesh - an anglicized version of the acronym when written in Arabic that is used by some world leaders - would be a better option.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    This is really unfortunate. I suppose those unfortunate enough to be named Isis will have to legally change their name in order not to be pigeon holed by others short sightedness. At least she was reinstated but the damage has been done.
  3. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 616   +176

    If they started referring to it as Daesh, wouldn't that sound too much like some other name? It sucks and it isn't fair, but nothing is in a world where an organization like Isis exists. It's actually a pretty name.
  4. SecureThoughtC

    SecureThoughtC TS Rookie

    This is very unfortunate. I feel for this poor woman and any others going through similar situations. Not saying I know anything about what she faces on a daily basis, but my name is often flagged as containing "inappropriate content". My name is Cassie, and they are referring to the fact that "***" happens to be in my name. I can't help that my name is spelled like that, but I often have to use fake names or just a portion of my name. I hope Facebook and other platforms acknowledge that Isis is a name, and not always associated with ISIL, and it is a very pretty name and she is a very pretty young lady!
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,738   +3,757

    Confirmed: Isis has been contained. On social media, at least.
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,876   +1,297

    Why not ISIL?? Its called that in probably half its operational area. Or better yet, ISIC: Islamic Scumbags In Crosshairs.
    DanielR and agb81 like this.
  7. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    At-least when she sends a job application it will cause the company to cease operations due to a terror scare.

    On another note, she is damn beautiful! She's the type of girl you'd only wish you could marry, cutie with a above average brain.
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    Isis = egyptian god of something or another, Facebook. And in downton Abbey it was the name of the dog. Pretty funny when the dog is on-screen.
  9. Fbarnett

    Fbarnett TS Booster Posts: 210   +30

    Some People are pretty Dumb. Time for a name change or eat crap for the rest of your life. Sorry just deal with it
  10. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,350   +1,999

    You know, sadly, in another place and time Mark Zuckerberg's name would have condemned him to have been denounced, put in an over crowded box car and shipped off to the gas chambers. Apparently he is just as insensitive as those that tried to destroy his race. As is all too often said, he that ignores history is doomed to repeat it!
    DanielR likes this.
  11. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,666   +1,951

    Facebook: Ops, sorry, must have been a bug...

    Isis: Yeah, right, ...it's ok though, changed my name to my uncle's - Osama.

    Facebook: Doh!

  12. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    So really this is just a story showing that the word 'isis' gets caught by Facebook's filters.

    Or was this an underhanded way to get us to have a discussion about women in technology?
  13. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

  14. Mountain Mike

    Mountain Mike TS Rookie

    Its really not that big of a deal, why do we have to make an issue out of everything?
  15. 3volv3d

    3volv3d TS Addict Posts: 155   +59

    Well, maybe she can use her name again when it has all blown over. It is amazing that you can be banned from the internet for silly names. Someone I know uses a stupid handle throughout the COD series, splashed down £80 for COD BLOPS3... and his handle of 5 years or more has him perma-banned.

    Frankly a big F U to all these small minded, power tripping muppets who ban everyone for every little thing when some crybaby 12 year old loses a game, or some mum sees something she doesn't agree with.
    And a bigger F U to your TOS, which you know full well no one has time to read... We HAVE to agree to use your products, more so when we spend money on them.

    But after all the ranting. FB is one of them sites you should not belong to, if you are a bright well educated person. Just walk away. They did you a favor. Don't follow the sheople.
    DanielR likes this.
  16. GaryDMN

    GaryDMN TS Rookie

    There was at least one company named ISIS that changed their name last year.
  17. Snowden

    Snowden TS Member Posts: 68   +31

    ANYTHING to do with Zuckerberg is really unfortunate. Social medias has made modern day youth the most stressed in history. Thanks Mark. Please, please get hit by an out of control autonomous car. Actually, we cold load MZ into the bomb bay and drop HIM on ISIS. They would all die of disgust.
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  18. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Because blowing things out of all proportion is what we're best at as a human race.
  19. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    A bit harsh but yeah, I'm down with that.
  20. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    I don't know about having the name Isis, but I think you can have a worse name; "One in every 702,203 Americans is named NAZI" that's something that will never be forgotten, this whole Isis thing will blow over after the US bombs them back to Hell.

    I don't know about you, but I've been referring to Isis by other less polite words, the first of which starts with the letter F and the other ends in holes.

    And oh yes is this Isis fine with me, rather picture her than the bunch of F'ing Holes.
  21. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    Changing names is stupid. Call the group something else possibly but as for people, what happens when the next group is called Steve or Kris or Jane or Joe? This is just so utterly stupid on Facebook's part. They can see the history of the user, etc. If she made the account extremely recently or somethng, PERHAPS but even then. Use a brain! How about actual people thinking a second instead of using some flawed program and calling it gospel?
    Phr3d and cliffordcooley like this.
  22. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,935   +764

    Maybe they will let her back in if she says she is Christian.


    Yet another example of terror mania. Quick, let's amend the patriot act and make Isis an illegal name, strike it from all Egyptian legends, and everywhere it occurs.
  23. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,959   +217

    The positive thing with calling it Daesh is that it reduces the legitimacy in the name itself, obviously referring to a terrorist organization with the word "state" in it's name gives it implied legitimacy.
    Daesh is just the same meaning, but transcribed from Arabic language (I.e. it's a literal transcription of ISIS/ISIL from Arabic.
    But it just so happens to be also closely related to another word which is derogatory, so it's a double win in that sense...

    Indeed, where do I send my CV? ;)
    wastedkill likes this.
  24. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 616   +176

    My post was deleted for "Trolling"??? WTF!?!?!? To be clear, the post that was deleted is the one psycros quoted, which is why I quoted his post. I'd like an explanation from the person that deleted it.
  25. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,729   +3,703

    Unless the mods acted quickly your post is still visible.

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