Since it’s inception, I have had an account on Facebook. Over the years, it has grown to be one of the best social networking sites available. It’s users range from teens to adults, but a recent move by Facebook is going to upset a small portion of it’s users, the technically advanced users.
My email address is admin[at]jaypoc[dot]com, and has been for close to (if not more than) ten years. I have maintained this address as my personal email address and is the address that friends and colleagues know to contact me and/or search for me on social networking sites. A few weeks ago, I signed on to Facebook and saw a message stating “Our systems have detected that firstname.lastname@example.org is no longer a valid email. Facebook requires all users to maintain an active contact email.“.
It asked me to enter a new email address or re-confirm the same one, but would not allow me to reconfirm my valid email. I searched their help for a reason this was happening. It took a while to find it, but I located this absurd statement:
“Unfortunately we do not support email addresses with generic prefixes (e.g. info@, webmaster@ etc.). Since email addresses of this nature are typically used for organizations and businesses, we do not allow them to be used for personal Facebook accounts. You will need to use a personal email address that does not contain this type of prefix. There are no exceptions to this rule.”
Sure, Email addresses of that nature COULD be used for organizations and businesses, but only if the domain name is owned by an organization or business. I own a PERSONAL WEB-SITE and have a PERSONAL domain name, so it’s only fitting that admin@MyDomainName.com is me. Facebook ignorantly refuses to accept that an individual could have their own domain name or web-site. Unfortunately, Creating a “valid” name according to Facebook’s statement would require me to reconfigure my mail server with additional aliases or email addresses. While a trivial task, none of my colleagues, friends, or family will know this new “facebook-compliant” address. How would they search for me? The simple answer is that they would not be able to. The basic functionality of Facebook, bringing people together, would be lost because of their closed-minded opinion that a domain name can not belong to an individual.
The fact remains that my email address is what it is. I will not change it for Facebook. If they want to kick me off of their system, then that’s what will happen. I will become a victim of discrimination not because of my religion or skin color, but because email address (while valid) doesn’t conform to their standards.