Taking the “Rabbi” Out of Facebook

Some local rabbis noticed something strange when they signed onto their Facebook accounts Friday morning -- their title was gone from their profile.

Just in time for Shabbat they've taken the "Rabbi" away from the social network.

Chabad rabbis throughout the country began to notice the title "Rabbi" being dropped from their accounts on Thursday night, according to a source.

A simple search for the term Rabbi on Facebook reveals a slew of local Philadelphia rabbis who no longer have the title "Rabbi" at the beginning of their Facebook names.

NBCPhiladelphia.com tracked down the people over at Facebook for a response to this supposed dropping of names.

"We do have systems in place that block people from using certain words and titles in their names," said Simon Axten with Facebook.com.

"This is to prevent abuse and help maintain our real name culture, which drives accountability on the site," said Axten. 

To be fair to the Facebook people a search for Reverend and Pastor also yields few results for the Philadelphia area.

These systems have been around for a while, according to Axten.

"To be clear, people who try to sign up with a name that contains a word on our blacklist, or who try to change their name to one that includes one of these words, will be blocked. They can then write to us if they feel their use of the word is legitimate," said Axten.

A blacklist, what names are included on the blacklist?

"The list is quite long and includes words and names commonly associated with fake accounts. You can’t sign up as 'Barack Obama' or 'Britney Spears,' for example," said Axten.

Facebook encourages anyone who wishes to use a legitimate title on Facebook should contact the Facebook team. "Our User Operations team will investigate and honor the request where appropriate," said Axten.Click here to contact the Facebook team.

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