Man Named 'Jihad' Gets Banned From PSN For Using His Real Name; Are Naming Restrictions Too Tight?

By Anton Chua , Updated Jul 01, 2016 07:28 AM EDT
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Jihad Al-Mofadda has been a PlayStation Network user for some six years now. For all intents and purposes, he's been a pretty stand-up guy on Sony's online gaming community, but last month on June 7, his account got banned. The reason? His PSN ID, "iJihaD," contains his real name.

In several emails to different gaming sites, Al-Mofadda has indicated that he's been using this PSN ID since 2008 or 2009. He had the June 7 ban reviewed by PlayStation Support, who responded by saying that the ban was caused by his online ID, "which has been deemed inappropriate and/or offensive." The result of the ban was that he couldn't play most of his games, and even lost his savegames in some instances.

Al-Mofadda said that PlayStation Support initially gave him the opportunity to undo the ban by allowing him to change his PSN ID. Several days later though, someone else reviewed his ticket and said, "we are unable to make any exceptions," regarding the ban caused by his username.

He sent a snapshot of his passport to prove that "Jihad" was indeed part of his name, but his pleas were rejected, as one PlayStation Support email said, "I can appreciate that your name has many meanings but it has one meaning that a lot of users find offensive." 

Al-Mofadda took to Twitter, reddit, and other social media, rocketing him to the top of /r/PS4 and going trending with #PSNBANS and #JihadGotBanned hashtags. This caught the attention of PlayStation UK, who said that the ban was caused by an automatic check by the system, and allowed him to change his name over the phone - an operation that only took a few minutes.

The change wasn't without its difficulties - he still has trouble with his trophies, and he has to contact some publishers in order to get some of his games reactivated in his account. 

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