Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Facebook bans cosplay profiles

Cosplay Angel as Hatsune Miku
Cosplay is one of the spheres in which geek girls have been welcomed and indeed celebrated with huge success and so it is a shame to hear this news.

Facebook are taking the same approach to 'legitimacy' of user profiles that caused all the ruckus with Google+ 'real names' policy and removing duplicate and fake profiles from their site. The main cause appears to be to to protect those posing as others and to reduce the number of fake celebrity profiles on the site.

Unfortunately in a mass data clean up they have targeted and removed the profiles of many cosplayers and deleted all accounts with the surname "cosplay" in an effort to reduce duplicate accounts created by fans for their cosplay efforts. The Examiner even claims that gamers with profiles for their characters could be targeted next.

The Cosplay community is understandably upset. Some have separate 'personas' they keep for conventions and competitions, others say they'd prefer not to share an unusual hobby (and possibly risque outfits) with their family and colleagues. Many have lost years of photo albums and online social networking.

"Professional" cosplayers such as Cosplay Angel have been protected by using Facebook pages rather than profiles, but for the lay man this didn't seem like a requirement and the deletion of accounts was without warning. Some blame adult content such as the infamous Venom Cosplay that was banned, others feel persecuted in a medium that has traditionally been very geek friendly.

For Cosplayers and supporters alike have created an online petition against the deletion of Cosplay accounts. What about you Nerd Girls? Have you had an account deleted? What do you think about the move towards social media profiles being used as an internet proxy for forms of ID?