Sony Banned a PSN User Whose Real Name Is Jihad
Thankfully, the user's account has since been reinstated.
A PSN user was banned for having a username that contains the word "Jihad," which just so happens to be his real name. Thankfully, Jihad Khalid Almofadda has had access to his account reinstated, though it came at a cost.
Almofadda says he received an email that said he was banned because of his username "iJihad." For a time, he was unable to access his account, games, and online services, as evidenced by a video he posted on Twitter.
Almofadda posted an image of the email from Sony, which offered him a PSN username change--a feature that many fans have requested for years. However, after Sony reviewed his list of new names, Almofadda says the offer was revoked, making his ban permanent. You can see that email here.
"Jihad" is a term commonly associated with a holy war against those who don't believe in Allah. It's often spoken in the same breath as terrorism in the west, but it's literal meaning is "struggling and putting an effort in doing something noble, good, and highly valued," according to Almofadda. It's also worth noting that he's not the only person with "Jihad" in his username, as there are at least 9,800 users who use it as part of their ID (via Game Informer).
After posts on social media and multiple news reports, Almofadda talked to PlayStation UK, which restored his account with a new username. However, it came with a few caveats, including the deletion of his friends, the lack of social features, and the possible loss of trophies.
"I was offered to change the PSN ID, but that has it costs!" Almofadda posted on Reddit, where his username is still iJihad. "My Trophies will have syncing problems and could disappear, Friends are gone, and social communication is deleted! There's no other way to it. The other interesting thing, he made the change from iJihad to Jiii--in just 2 seconds over the phone call! It's not rocket science, but it needs much technical improvements (Noting my trophies are ZERO now after syncing)."
Almofadda added that the PlayStation representative he spoke to said Sony was in discussions to allow name changes--it's worth noting that Sony has said this a couple times over the years.
Almofadda ended his Reddit post by expressing his thanks for all the support he received during the time of his banning.
"I'm really thankful to all of you guys who supported me and support Gaming community in general," he said. "These voices are the ones who will shape the future of gaming. If we let Corporate Managers decide, bad things always happen. Keep up the high voice! We are always heard no matter where we are!!"
This isn't the first time complications have arisen with video games because of someone's name. A man named Muhammad Khan was blocked from signing up for Paragon's beta because his name was the same as one on a government list.