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Arizona Couple Banned From Facebook Over Their Real Names

A married couple from Arizona with the last name of Avatar have been banned from Facebook.

Balizar Orion Avatar and his wife, Audry Avatar, a married couple of four years with a young daughter, say Facebook deleted Balizar’s account after the social media site assumed it was a fake name, reported Daily Mail.

“I was confused, frustrated, and I was just kind of done,” Balizar told Fox 6 Now.

“My dad told me that my name in Sanskrit is ‘May the Lord protect the king, son of light in deity human form,’” Balizar added.

“I fell in love with his name just as much as I fell in love with him,” Audry said, explaining that she has also faced obstacles from Facebook over her husband’s name.

She is currently using her maiden name on Facebook because the site won’t allow her to change her name to Avatar.

“I think it’s discrimination, fully,” Audry said. “I mean I have a special last name; I’m married to a special man.”

Balizar and Audry believe Facebook takes issue with the name because of the 2009 blockbuster hit “Avatar,” the science fiction movie written and directed by James Cameron.

“I actually did think about calling James Cameron or trying to get a hold of James Cameron and being like, ‘Ya know, man, my last name’s Avatar and I’m taking a lot of grief from your movie. Maybe some compensation would be much appreciated,'” Balizar joked.

Facebook has asked the couple to provide their drivers licenses and other documents to prove their identities.

“I think they [Facebook] need to get off their high horse and realize you’re just social media,” Audry said.

Fox News 6's 3 On Your Side contacted Facebook about the issue. The reporter noted that certain words and names are flagged as suspicious for being fake accounts, and Avatar is one of them. Facebook said it is working to get the couple’s pages back up.

“We are committed to ensuring that all members of the Facebook community can use the names that they use in real life," a Facebook representative said in a statement. "Having people use their authentic names makes them more accountable and also helps us root out accounts created for malicious purposes … We have more work to do, and our teams will continue to prioritize these improvements.”

Sources: Daily Mail, Fox 6 Now

Photo credit: Screenshot via Fox 6 Now


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