North Pole resident Santa Claus –yes, that is his legal name — has been living under that name for about 11 years. He was elected to North Pole City Council last year and also served as chair of the North Pole Chamber of Commerce. He said every now and then he has interesting issues with ordering items over the phone and disbelief from various officials. He was surprised however, when Facebook notified him that his account had been shut down because Facebook didn’t believe him. Santa got the notice on Christmas Day.
“I don’t think it was (done) ironically,” Santa said. “I think it was suspect, personally.”
Santa began corresponding with a Facebook worker named Elliot to rectify the situation. When sending his driver’s license was not sufficient enough identification, he later sent a copy of his passport and even a copy of the letter from the governor appointing him to the Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission — all to clarify that his name was indeed Santa Claus and that he lived in North Pole, Alaska on Santa Claus Lane.
The mistake prompted Santa to put Elliot, Facebook and Mark Zuckerburg on the “naughty list”. Eventually, the company recognized they had made an error, and restored Santa’s account, however he wasn’t told of the correction.
“They recognized to a reporter that they had made a mistake, and that was that. But no, they didn’t even tell me I had access restored to my page,” Santa said. “I found that out from the reporter.”
Even though Facebook didn’t tell him directly, Santa is thankful for his community, both in close proximity and online, in their quest to rectify the error.
“My takeaway is that I’m blessed to be in a small community, where friends and neighbors will gather around, in addition to my several hundred thousand folks on Facebook, to help right a wrong — perceived or real,” Santa said.
Although he was upset with Facebook at first, Santa said they are not on the naughty list anymore.
“Facebook is now, since they restored my access, off the naughty list, but they’re not yet on the nice list,” Santa said. “If they’d like to be on the nice list, they could put a verification check-mark on my Facebook page. That would be very helpful and greatly appreciated. And I would be happy to have that in lieu of a direct apology.”
Santa said that he doesn’t expect a “behemoth company” like Facebook to apologize, but he’s grateful for his loyal Facebook followers, that total close to 300,000, for showing him support.