Confusion over surname earns Facebook flak

Facebook recently found itself in a sticky situation when a community in Assam, India, raised their voices collectively against the social networking site deactivating the accounts of thousands of its members. The reason? The members belonged to the popular 'Chutia' (pronounced as Sutiya) community of Assam, which essentially is an ethnic tribe of the region with a rich historical background in the state history, reports The Times of India. Facebook assumed these accounts to be fake and fabricated, in addition to confusing the community name with derogatory Hindi slang.

Facebook irks users

Facebook irks users



The big mix-up has left the members of the community deeply infuriated. Members of the All Assam Chutia Students' Union (Aacsu), as a mark of their protest, will stating their point by burning an effigy of the social networking site in the five upper Assam districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Jorhat and Golaghat, today. What also angered the members was that the social networking site went on deactivating several accounts without even verifying the truth behind them. Reports also suggest that the community now seeks a public apology from Facebook.


Quoting Aacsu, General Secretary, Jyotiprasad Chutia, the report stated, "Facebook has blocked the accounts of all the subscribers belonging to the Chutia community of Assam thinking the names are false and fabricated. For Chutia being an abusive word in the Hindi language, Facebook authorities thought that the account holders are fake and fabricated. But, they are still unknown to the fact that Chutia is an ethnic tribe of Assam which has a rich historical background in the state history." He further added that, "We are very unhappy with authority as they have even failed to verify the matter seriously before taking a step like blocking thousands of our accounts. We think it may be a deep-rooted conspiracy against our community and so we warn them to abstain from such acts in the future. They even failed to verify the truth when they blocked the accounts of some prominent personalities and popular artists like Krishnamoni Chutia, who belongs to our community. We protested this negligence and demanded them to reactivate our accounts immediately."


A quick look-up on Facebook has confirmed that the group's page is up on Facebook, again.

Published Date: Mar 12, 2012 11:51 am | Updated Date: Mar 12, 2012 11:51 am