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August 23, 2012

Yet another reason to leave Facebook?

Facebook purges Cosplayers’ accounts, gamers likely to be targeted next

If you’re a cosplayer who goes under an alias on your Facebook profile, it might be a good idea to go to your Account Settings – right now – and click on “Download a copy of your Facebook data”.Also, try to avoid common words in your username.  It might potentially save you from a lot of trouble and heartache. 
Several cosplayers found themselves in for a rude shock when they accessed the popular social network service Facebook earlier this week, only to discover that their user accounts – along with years of accumulated personal data including photos, videos, and hundreds if not thousands of contacts – had been deleted.
According to news site Examiner.com, their accounts were deleted due to a mass purge Facebook performed on Monday that targeted usernames containing the word “cosplay“, in an attempt to clamp down on “duplicate” or “fake” accounts that go by an alias rather than the users’ real names.
These “duplicate accounts” were said to comprise approximately 8.7 percent of Facebook’s monthly active users.
When the social network revealed this 8.7 percent figure in a regulatory filing made earlier in August, the information did not sit well with investors and caused a dip in the publicly traded company’s stock price. This might have been the prompt for the mass account purge on Monday, in an attempt to dwindle the figures and restore investor confidence.
It is unclear, however, why Facebook has chosen to target specifically user accounts with the word “cosplay” in it.
Oddly enough, it would seem that users who had the word “cos” – a term that many Japanese cosplayers include in their cos names – were not affected at all.
It could very well be that the term “Cosplay” is simply the most frequent term employed in Facebook usernames (possibly the sole silver lining to this gloomy story: “cosplay” could be the most popular term included in Facebook usernames).
Examiner.com postulates that other common terms found in user account like “photography”, “gamer”, and “sports”, are likely to be targeted next.
Our hearts go out to cosplayers affected by Facebook’s thoughtless, extremist measure.