January 29, 2009

Facebook disables Lakota account

Is Facebook Not Friendly to Natives?Facebook is no friend of Robin Kills The Enemy.

The social networking site that enables millions of "friends" to stay in touch with one another has disabled the account of the 27-year-old Lakota woman from the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Facebook assumed Kills The Enemy was a fake name.

Now Kills The Enemy—yes, that's her real name—has lost touch with hundreds of her Facebook friends. "I'm getting used to it, but it still pisses me off," Kills The Enemy said in a telephone interview from He Dog School in Parmelee, S.D., where she works as a computer technician and mentor.

On Tuesday, Kills The Enemy received an e-mail notice from Facebook that read:

"Fake names are a violation of our Terms of Use."
Comment:  Undoubtedly this was an innocent mistake. Someone saw the name "Kills The Enemy" and assumed it was phony.

But it does show a regrettable ignorance of Native customs. This is what happens when fictional Indians are named after an eagle, wolf, or hawk. If a name doesn't begin with a word such as "Brave," "Proud," or "White," non-Natives don't recognize it as Indian.

For more on the subject, see "Funny" Indian Names.


dmarks said...

Imagine if Wilma Mankiller used Facebook.

Anonymous said...

Oooooh what a cool surname. :D

Rob said...

Yes, and it's the type of name New Agers never adopt. Just once I'd like to see a New Age "Mankiller" instead of a "Moon Spirit" or "Wolf Rider."