Saturday, November 27, 2010

Name or Obscenity

Dick (film)Image via WikipediaMy given name is Richard.  It is the name that I use on any official documents that require a signature.  I am rapidly approaching the age of 50.  For my entire life, I have gone by the name Dick or some variation of it.  I have been called Dick, Dickie, Dickster, and since I am a junior, my least favorite moniker, Little Dickie.

With the advent of the digital age and the internet, I have had several different email accounts and have joined several different forums.  Usually, when creating an email address or a user ID, I incorporate my name in that email address or user ID.  The user ID that I use the most is dickster1961, a combination of one of my nicknames and the year of my birth.

Sadly, in today's world of political correctness and rigid electronic filters, there have been times when I have tried to sign up for a forum and my user ID has been rejected.  The reasons vary, but they pretty much all center around the same theme that the user ID contains a word that has been rejected by the company's filters.  Once, I actually was having difficulty emailing a vendor that I was dealing with because my email signature was being filtered by his company's spam filters as obscene because it contained my name.

Whenever I have had a problem creating a user ID that contains my name, I will usually write to the company through their "contact us" link on their website.  If at that point they will not allow me to create a user ID that contains my name, as a matter of general principal I will not do any business with that company.  I am well acquainted with the additional meanings that can be associated with the name Dick, however, I take great offense to those companies that assign a rigid ruling of "obscene" to what is a common name throughout history. There have been a lot of famous Dicks through the years.

When I started this blog over two years ago, I gave it my name "Dickster."  When I signed up with Twitter, I signed up with my common user ID "dickster1961."  Associated with the blog and my Twitter account, I have had a relationship with a few different companies that have paid me for the occasional blog post or Twitter tweet.  Those relationships don't provide a lot of income, but every few bucks here and there is always a help.

The reason I bring all this up now is because of some recent issues that I have had with one of those companies and my Twitter account.  I have had a relationship with this particular company for about a year where I have gotten paid to send out tweets.  There has never been a problem with my twitter name in that time.  My last two opportunities have been rejected by advertisers because I have an "inappropriate Twitter handle."

It seems odd that all of a sudden, my twitter name is a problem.  Especially I had posted paid tweets for one of the advertisers multiple times in the past year, and it was never a problem.  I have raised the issue with the company that arranges for the paid tweets to see if the issue lies within their system or whether it is actually with the advertisers.  On the one hand, I would like to have the opportunity to earn a little extra cash, on the other I don't want the hassle of changing my Twitter ID.

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  1. Your problem does not surprise me, but think of all the names that would need to be filtered if this logic is applied evenly.

    Dick (as you know)


  2. I can just imagine how frustrating that feels.

    I think those companies are trying so hard to be all "proper" that they are being stupid and ignorant.



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