It would seem that Myspace is no longer the social networking flavour of the month – that torch has now been passed to Facebook. But already there’s controversy – no, no suicide pacts just yet, but new members to Facebook can have the surname Hitler, but not the surname Gay.
With over 30 million members, Facebook is a run away success. With those numbers and that amount of data, it’s practically Orwellian.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the error was discovered when New Zealand woman Rowena Gay tried to sign up to the site and was rejected. “Please enter a legitimate surname,” it said. She eventually had to use her middle name to get past it.
It’s not easy bearing the surname Gay. Back in Sydney in 1991 the Honourable DJ Gay even took it to parliament, asking for Mardi Gras and the pride movement in general to be renamed.
“I have suggested lightheartedly that the so-called gay movement should not be called the gay movement but rather the homosexual movement… My family have suffered and I know a lot of other people who bear the surname of Gay have suffered because of the adoption by the homosexual community of that word.”
Oops. Needless to say he didn’t get his wish. Sorry to all the Gays out there.
One would think that Facebook would learn from Myspace’s mistakes – earlier this year they made headlines when new members were unable to select ‘gay’ as an option when signing up. It was later revealed to be a technical oversight.