Australia

Australian with 'misleading' Facebook name thanks supporters

  • 23 November 2015
  • From the section Australia
Picture of Phuc Dat Bich's passport Image copyright Phuc Dat Bich
Image caption The man later thanked people who were supportive of "certain names that populate in different cultures"

An Australian man has said he is glad his fight to use his real name on Facebook has made people happy.

The man, who is of Vietnamese origin, shot to fame last week over his complaint that his account had been shut down because Facebook considered his name could be seen as offensive.

The post dated back to January, but received hundreds of thousands of likes late last week.

The man said he hoped he had "played a part in brightening your days".

Media captionThe BBC's Nga Pham explains how to pronounce the Vietnamese name

His name - Phuc Dat Bich - when properly pronounced in Vietnamese, which is a tonal language, sounds like "Phoo Da Bi".

Mr Bich originally posted his complaint on 28 January, accompanied with his passport photo, saying: "I find it highly irritating the fact that nobody seems to believe me when I say that my full legal name is how you see it.

"I've been accused of using a false and misleading name of which I find very offensive," the 23-year-old bank worker wrote.

"Is it because I'm Asian? Is it?"

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Mr Phuc received thousands of new followers over the weekend

Thousands of people left comments on his post, with some advising him to change his name. Others, however, left encouraging messages. It was picked up around the world.

On Sunday night, Mr Bich wrote a new post saying he was "very grateful to those who have been supportive of certain names that populate in different cultures."

"We live in a diverse and multicultural society and the fact that there are people out there who are supportive and encouraging really makes me happy," Mr Bich wrote.

"I am glad and honoured to be able to make people happy by simply making them laugh at something that appears outrageous and ridiculous."

Facebook has not commented directly on Mr Bich's case, but its policy on usernames state that people "provide the name they use in real life" for safety reasons, and that it "should be your authentic identity; as your friends call you in real life and as our acceptable identification forms would show", such as passports.

Among other things it asks users to refrain from using "offensive or suggestive words of any kind" in their Facebook names.

Update 27 November 2015: This story has been amended to remove references to the man's name from the headline.

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