Introducing: The Secret of Nym

The Secret of Nym – February 2015

Facebook is at it again. This time, they are after Native Americans. Among others, Lakota woman Dana Lone Hill was suspended because her name wasn’t “name-shaped.” It’s not solely targeted at them, though. A user named “Bob O’Bob” was suspended, as well as a user named “Jay Smooth.” In both of those cases, the name they were using was well established within their friends and family circles. Given that Facebook has been on a suspension spree since they started suspending drag queens back in September, these stories are not likely to stop anytime soon. The EFF and the ACLU are currently in talks with Facebook in an attempt to improve he situation.

Nym Factoid of the Month:
The Machiguenga people from the Amazon Basin jungle regions of southeastern Peru lack personal names. Members of the same tribe refer to each other using kin terminology, while they refer to different tribes using their Spanish names.

Nym-related Links:
Abine: this company is interesting because their tech goes a step beyond the typical remailer idea; they also act as a shield for your credit cards to help reduce your risk of identity fraud.
Zooko’s Triangle: a useful diagram showing the difficulty of names within systems. It’s analogous to the saying “Fast, cheap, and good. Pick two.”


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