NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
We reported recently on the campaign by Misneach to get Facebook to stop deleting the accounts of users who submitted their names in the Irish language. (Link):
I am pleased to copy this statement received in the past few hours and indicating the campaign has been totally successful.
It is a clear indication of the power of an organised protest
There full statement below:
“Facebook welcomes usernames in Irish!
Two months ago it became apparent that Facebook had been deleting the accounts of users who had their names in the Irish language and requesting that they show proof of identity to confirm their “real name”. That is, their name which they use in the real world and could provide documentation for.
Recognising that this would cause major difficulties in a bi-lingual community, where not everyone registers their name with the state or has official documentation in Irish, Misneach began to organise towards a protest which it was hoped would rectify the situation.
After Misneach fixed a date for the protest, and advertised it amongst the media, Facebook made contact with the group, as well as with Conradh na Gaeilge, to organise a meeting with some of their representatives. Members of both Irish language organisations met with Facebook yesterday (29/09/2015).
Speaking after the meeting, spokesperson for Misneach Kerron Ó Luain said:
‘We had a worthwhile meeting with representatives of Facebook yesterday in Dublin. Facebook made it clear that users were welcome to change their names to Irish without providing identification. Furthermore, that they were offering refresher training to employees so that they could better understand the cultural contexts of the site’s users. And, finally, that they were working on routing problems that meant these issues were not reaching Facebook technicians with the correct knowledge.
Ó Luain continued:
‘Facebook have now given guarantees to Misneach that the discrimination against users with Irish names will cease. Moreover, they have rectified the case of Laoighsceach Ní Choistealbha which drew attention to the issue in the first place and have offered her an apology. Last night, Misneach’s national and Dublin committees voted democratically, in light of the assurances given, to not go ahead with the planned protest outside Facebook on 7 October. At this point, Misneach are satisfied that Facebook will make good on their word.
Ó Luain finished:
‘Therefore, although we welcome these assurances, we will be vigilant going forward. We know, for instance, that similar guarantees have been given to the LGBT community in America, particularly to the #MyNameIs campaign, as well as to a representative of the same community here in Ireland, and Facebook has failed to honour its commitments. Misneach raised the question of those communities at the meeting, as well as the case of Native Americans, and we hope that a more far reaching reform of the “real name” policy will be undertaken in the future, considering that not all identities can be regulated in officialdom.
But today Misneach are happy to announce a victory for Irish speakers everywhere.
The victory demonstrates, as does the victory of the Aran Islanders to maintain their airplane service yesterday, the power which lies within communities who protest. Imagine the status and position of Irish language rights if our community was more ready to mobilise to counter the many threats and attacks which are currently ranged against it!’
For more information, contact:
Kerron Ó Luain
33 Céide na Grianóige, Ráth Cúil, BÁC 24
Related link to the groups Facebook site here;
Issued by: The Celtic News
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues