An Irish girl has had her Facebook account deactivated because the social media site believes her first-name is a racial slur.
Gypsy Robinson, from Co. Longford, has been involved in a long-running dispute with Facebook following the removal of her personal profile almost two years ago.
The 17-year-old said she followed Facebook’s protocol by uploading her birth certificate and other forms of identification, yet the company failed to reactivate her account, which her mother Hazel said held great sentimental value.
Hazel says that Facebook informed her daughter that her name was fake and told her that it was against “community standards”.
“My daughter’s name is Gypsy Robinson. Everybody knows her as Gypsy. It’s on her passport, it’s on her birth cert, it’s her actual name,” Hazel told the Irish Independent.
“Why is she getting singled out? I don’t understand, I really don’t understand. And why is her name against their community policies?
“What is wrong with the name being used as a name? Is it political correctness? Is that what it’s boiling down to? Because a small few people on social media have replied that they view it as a racial slur.”
Gypsy has been told by Facebook that if she wants to set-up another account, she must use her middle name, Ann.
Hazel continued: “She’s really annoyed over it. None of her friends know Gypsy as Ann Robinson. She’s Gypsy, that’s her name. So, what they have done with my daughter is that they have said, ‘we have the documentation that your name is Gypsy but it goes against our community standards’.
“I would love answers from Facebook as to why her name is going against community standards.”
“I don’t see it as a racial slur, I view it as a name. I have never viewed it as a racial slur. I heard the name years ago on Home and Away and I thought it was a beautiful name.”