Sony screws over man after deeming his first name offensive

Saudi player Jihad deals with PlayStation support

Jihad Al Mofadda, a 26-year-old from Saudi Arabia, has played under the PlayStation Network handle “iJihad” for seven years. Earlier this month he was met with a sudden, permanent ban on his account, as Al Mofadda chronicles on Reddit.

Al Mofadda contacted PlayStation customer support and was offered the chance to change his PSN name, which he tried to take, until, “Couple days no reply, or anything, suddenly another guy review the ticket…and revoke[s] the solution to make the ban permanent,” as seen in this email. It explains that, in using his own given name, Al Mofadda was “in breach of our Terms of Service” because his name has “been deemed inappropriate and/or offensive.”

As he explained on Reddit, “Before you hate on me, please remember 26 years ago, this s**t was not like this. I’ve been named based on the true, non-religious meaning of the word, which is: Struggling & Putting an effort in doing something Noble, good and highly valued. Long story short, we’re in 2016 :).”

The permanent ban restricted Al Mofadda from accessing any of his digital purchases, even while offline.

“Also why, legally, using my actual name, which has multiple good meanings, is breaking of ToS, because (ONLY in the past few years) it catch-up a bad meaning in the media?” Al Mofadda said. “Am I really breaking ToS by using a good meaning word, which is my actual name, because after couple years it was abused in a horrific way (which i’m extremely sickened to hear about)? I accept changing it and understand how people may find it offensive – only now – but it’s not because it is an actual offensive word, it’s because only due to the media talks and how it is being used & framed in the past few years.”

After enough coverage on this unfortunate bit of racism, PlayStation UK contacted Al Mofadda and let him change his PSN name, “but that has [its] costs.”

“My Trophies will have Syncing problems and could disappear, Friends are gone and social communication is deleted!” he explains. This goes back to Sony’s long-standing annoyance of not having a way that allows users to change their user names because of how the system was designed. “There’s no other way to it,” he said.


Steven Hansen