A couple in Arizona claims that Facebook has banned them from using the site until they verify their unique last name: Avatar.
Earlier this week, Balizar Orion Avatar claims he tried to log into Facebook and discovered that his account had been deleted, KTVK reported.
Avatar is recently married. His wife, Audry, says she has not been able to change her last name on Facebook, though her account remains active.
The couple believes their last name is being blocked because of its connection to James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster, “Avatar.”
In the movie, Avatars are giant, blue-skinned creatures. Not exactly a couple of humans from Arizona.
“I actually did think about calling James Cameron or trying to get a hold of James Cameron and being like, ‘Ya know, man, my last name’s Avatar and I’m taking a lot of grief from your movie,'” Avatar told KTVK. “‘Maybe some compensation would be much appreciated.'”
The Cameron movie isn’t the only reason Facebook tends to flag “Avatar” as a fake name. Digital communities like “Second Life” refer to people’s characters as avatars. For this reason, it’s one of several names that the site flags as potentially fake, a Facebook representative told KTVK.
Tech Insider reached out to get the latest from Facebook and we’ll update when we hear back.
In the meantime, Balizar and Audry have been asked to provide photo identification to Facebook to prove that their last name is legitimate, a process the site has been known to use to verify users with unusual names.
In 2014, for example, a New York woman was required to submit her ID to Facebook after she wanted to change her name from “Melinda Kiss” to her married name “Melinda Kiss Flecker.” Flecker said she was forced verify her name because Facebook thought it was “too suggestive.“
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