Allow the use of suffixes and prefixes in names.
A suffix in a name is a series of initials that allows other users to glean important information about a person. Suffixes such as III (the third), Jr. (Junior) and SM. (Society of Mary) helpfully inform readers about their family associations, religious affiliations and organisational representation.
Facebook does not permit the use of such initials by account holders, claiming that it is in breach of their rules which state you must use your own plain unadorned name. However, the use of suffixes (and prefixes) is clearly not identity fraud, rather a mark of identification regarding status, adherence and association.
The suffix ‘Âû’ is used by autistics, friends, families and supporters of those living with autism within the Autistic Community. It has rapidly become a leading international symbol representing autism advocacy, autism pride and acceptance. Many autistic groups and pages have consequently adopted Âû within their titles.
A handful of people who take issue with what Âû stands for (recognition of autistic abilities, rights and freedom of expression) have been attacking users of those two letters through exploitation of antiquated and oppressive Facebook rules disallowing such additions.
Many within the Autistic Community have been forced to remove the Âû from their names or even close their accounts. This is a tragedy within itself as many on the autism spectrum use social networking as their primary source of social interaction and have developed a deep sense of community and solidarity with other autistics online. For those socially isolated - Facebook can be a social imperative!
These attacks on autistics who have adopted the suffix are a cowardly form of bullying and harassment. Nothing less. It has become the new form of trolling for those who see autistics as easy prey. Many autistics who have adopted the suffix have a deep sense of identity and attachment to those two letters because they represent community, identity and autistic pride.
Therefore, we autistic's and friends/allies, hereby petition Facebook to stop this senseless and cowardly vilification of autistic choices and identifications by fully permitting the use of suffixes within our names.
We ask everyone to please sign this petition and show your support. We are not hiding our true identity, but on the contrary showing the world exactly who we are.
Today: Âû is counting on you
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