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Facebook's real-name policy led to the account of woman called Isis being blocked Reuters

A woman called Isis has had her account blocked by Facebook because of her name, and claims the social network failed to unlock it even when provided with a scan of her passport. Along with IS and Daesh, Isis is commonly used to refer to the terrorist group known as Islamic State

Isis Anchalee, an entrepreneur and advisory board member of Women Who Code who lives in California, tweeted a message to Facebook asking why her personal account had been disabled, stating her name is real.

Anchalee included a screenshot of a Facebook page telling her account was disabled.

A friend of Anchalee's, San Francisco filmmaker David Zandman, tweeted to ask why a Facebook conversation with her had been marked as spam. Anchalee said: "Facebook thinks I'm a terrorist and froze my account," to which Zandman replied: "I was afraid that might be the case... I'm sorry your name drama continues!"

Anchalee said that to prove her first name really is Isis, she sent Facebook a scan of her passport, but claimed this was not enough to have her account restored.

Tweeting to the @facebook account, Anchalee said: "I sent you my passport but it's not good enough for validation?"

'Sorry... I don't know what happened'

After sending her information to Facebook for a claimed third time, Anchalee was given her account back. She tweeted a screengrab of a message from Facebook, which said it had unlocked her account, and added: "We're sorry for the inconvenience."

This apology was backed up by a public tweet to Anchalee by Facebook employee Omid Farivar, who said: "Isis, sorry about this. I don't know what happened. I've reported it to the right people and we're working on fixing it."

Before becoming associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Isis was best known as the name of the supreme Egyptian goddess of the moon, sky, magic, motherhood and fertility.

Facebook's real-name policy causes its systems to automatically flag up any suspicious accounts that might be using fake names. This is designed to prevent impersonation accounts, parodies, and any accounts that could be seen as offensive or confrontational.

In this case, Facebook is right to flag up accounts deemed by a computer algorithm to be published by terrorists, but the use of Isis as a legitimate name will undoubtedly continue to cause these kinds of problems. Hopefully any repeat cases will be dealt with more quickly.

An alternative to Isis is Daesh, as used by French president Francois Hollande. Daesh is an anglicised version of the Isis acronym when written in Arabic.

IBTimes UK has requested a comment from Facebook and will update this article if we receive one.