Facebook bans Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook has banned Mark S. Zuckerberg, the bankruptcy attorney, not the company's CEO.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

Mark S. Zuckerberg is a bankruptcy attorney in Indianapolis. Unfortunately for him, he shares the first and last name of Facebook CEO Mark E. Zuckerger. This has resulted in his account being banned from the social network, according to WishTV.

The other Zuckerberg has had to explain to his friends that he didn't unfriend them all: it's merely Facebook that unfriended him. The lawyer said Facebook claimed "false identity" as their reason for deleting his account. His Facebook Page, titled "Mark Zuckerberg | Bankruptcy Attorney Indianapolis", has 500 Likes and is still up.

The lawyer is an expert on consumer bankruptcy and home foreclosures, and has even written several books on consumer legal topics. He also owns IamMarkZuckerberg.com, a site dedicated to explaining that there is room for two Mark Zuckerbergs in this world. Here's an excerpt:

I tell you all of this to make this point: I have put a lot of energy into becoming an exceptional bankruptcy attorney and establishing my good name nationally. If you had Googled Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, you would have found me. No one else. Mark S. Zuckerberg, bankruptcy attorney. If you had repeated the search two years later, you wouldn't have found me at all. Now my name isn't mine any more. The website HowManyofMe.com claims that only 1 Mark Zuckerberg exists in the entire United States. Which one do you think they're counting?

It's not the first time Mark S. Zuckerberg has had problems with Facebook. At first, he couldn't even get an account on the website. He had to convince the company that he exists with multiple legal documents and beg to be allowed on the website:

I was originally denied an account with Facebook two years ago because of my name, and I had to send them copies of my driver's license, birth certificate, and Indianapolis Bar Association license just to get them to believe that I exist and to allow me to set up my page. We went through this for about four months. I finally wrote them a threatening letter and the next thing I knew, I was on.

The less-famous Zuckerberg would get hundreds of friend request and inquiries from people who thought he was one of the company's co-founders. "I've gotten emails from people on Facebook, thanking me for finding their lost relatives because of Facebook," he said. "And then they would say, 'Can you lend me some money so I can go fly and meet them?'"

Still, at least he had the pleasure of using Facebook for two years. "I have teenage kids and it's the only way that you can really see what they are up to and talk to them," he said.

This week, his account was disabled out of the blue. I don't think Facebook did this on purpose (after all, his Facebook Page would have been removed too). It looks to me like one of the company's content reviewers got a little ahead of himself or herself (it certainly wouldn't be the first time).

The attorney said he hoped Facebook would resolve the situation, but noted it's very difficult to talk directly with anyone at the social network. The company always insists that email is the preferred method of contact for a more immediate response.

I've emailed Facebook to make sure Zuckerberg gets his account back. I'll update this story when I hear back.

Update: "Our reviewers look at thousands of pieces of content a day that are reported to them and of course make an occasional mistake," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "When this happens, and we're notified about it, we work quickly to restore the content. We have reactivated this person's account and sent him an email apologizing for the inconvenience."

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