Facebook seems to have something against Kate Middleton. But not the Duchess of Cambridge herself. I'm talking about a 32-year-old bicycle enthusiast from Boston, whose Facebook account was shut down, just because she shares a name with the royal bride. Once news of this Middleton mix-up broke this week, reporters began showing up at ATA Cycle, a Concord, Massachusetts bicycling shop where Middleton works, asking her to speak in a British accent. Really? They have nothing better to cover? Sounds quite sad really (imagine said in best British accent). She told AOL:
I'm really not interested in pretending I'm British. And I'm not really interested in pretending I'm the other Kate Middleton so I basically refused on all five requests to speak in a British accent.
Good for you, honey! But refusing to at least humor these silly reporters -- well, that seems like kind of a waste! Don't you want your 15 minutes of fame? Nope?
Ah, well, I guess I can kind of understand if she actually wants this whole thing to just go away. She's been dealing with it ever since January! That's when she tried to log onto her Facebook account and found that it had been suspended on suspicion of it being fake. She wrote Facebook an email and said that, yes, her name was Kate Middleton and asked if she could have her account back.
But that's not all. Facebook also untagged her in all of her photos! What the heck?? Can you imagine ... I sure hope they fully restored that shiz once Middleton "proved" she's no phony! I have photos tagged of me dating all the way back to 2005. I would not want to have to hunt down all 700+ of my pics and re-tag manually. (Then again, there may be some I'm better off without being linked to anyway!)
What's the lesson here? Seems like for all of the billions of dollars they pull in and many brilliant people they employ, Facebook still has trouble differentiating between celeb impostor accounts and real people who just happen to have a famous-sounding name. See, because Boston Kate Middleton wasn't alone. At least three others with the name (which isn't all that rare, if you think about it) -- an Australian woman and two British women -- were banned from Facebook and later let back on. Gah!
Thankfully, Boston Kate is using this Facebook fiasco to some benefit: She's trying to get those darn reporters to stop talking about a fake accent and instead discuss her participation in a July bike tour from Boston to Provincetown (P-Town!) aimed at raising money for multiple sclerosis. If she raises at least $10K, she'll ride a tandem bike in a wedding dress along with a "Prince William lookalike." Yes! Now, when Facebook screws you over -- that is how you work it.
Do you think it's obnoxious that Facebook can't figure out a good way of differentiating between fake accounts and real people with famous names?
Image via Romio Hasan/Flickr