So I've got a bit of a dilemma.
Several days ago, I posted THIS
on Facebook. Just a funny little thing I'd found, adding the circle around "novel reading" because of its pertinence to all-things-bookish. Not a big deal.
It's sort of gone viral. At this writing, it has 535 likes and 199 shares. And they keep coming in. Seriously, I've never had this kind of response on ANY Facebook post, on either of my accounts (Authoress or Real Life). Fun, yes?
Except, it must have flagged me somehow, because a couple days after this thing blew up, I got a wee notification from Facebook, asking for proof that my name is really my name.
Okay, game's up. My real name is not Authoress.
So I chose a link that said "special circumstances", which led me to several choices, including "are you gay/lebsian/bisexual/transgender" and "are you being abused". I chose "other", and then typed out a brief explanation of why I go by "Authoress", including links to my blog and Twitter account.
The next day, I received a stock response from Facebook, thanking me for working with them and asking me to scan a photo ID.
Um. I really don't own any photo IDs that say "Authoress". Yanno? Thing is, I had already explained myself, but apparently nobody was really paying attention. So I calmly explained myself again
Here's the thing. I've had this Facebook account since 2009. I've never abused it, never posted anything inappropriate or worthy of account termination. But if this not-your-real-name issue isn't resolved, they are going to lock me out of my account.
I'm still waiting to hear back.
I get that they don't want to host creepy people hiding behind fake names. I get that they want to protect users from abuse. I GET IT. But I am not a creepy creeper. And I'VE HAD THIS ACCOUNT FOR ALMOST 7 YEARS. Suddenly I'm on the radar, which makes me...a threat?
Over the past few days, I've also been receiving a steady stream of friend requests, as people see this post and figure they ought to friend me (I guess?). This morning when I checked my FB, I had 29 friend requests waiting. And that was before 8 am. I'm also getting all sorts of notifications of people liking and sharing other posts--some from a year or two ago.
I'm sure it'll die down. But whether it does or doesn't, I've still got this issue with FB, and I'm not sure what's going to happen.
Maybe they'll want me to turn it into a page. But can you imagine starting from scratch after building a friend list for almost seven years? I can't even.
And, too, we've got a private MSFV Success Story Author page, headed by the illustrious Peter Salomon. Losing my Authoress account would mean losing access to that community as well.
So there you have it. This is certainly a first world problem, and I'm not overly stressed. I'm just...annoyed. Facebook is a great platform for authors, and now I'm facing having my account shut down. I'm not going to reveal my name just to keep my Facebook account open.
Probably the time is nigh. Probably there is no reason to continue hiding behind the Authoress moniker.
I've been tired of the anonymity. It's interesting, though, because I've always been so transparent here. I'm as "real" as I can be, and what's in a name, anyway--right?
Still. I'm pretty sure I'm ready to create a beautiful author site (I've had the domain parked for years) and transition over.
What do you think?
Is it time?
Do you want to hear the real story?
Should I put some real time into the "reveal" story I started working on over a year ago?
Maybe this FB situation is really a nudge for me to move forward, dropping the red hat and joining the ranks-with-faces. And names.