More on Divine names being banned

In October 2015 I encountered an issue with Society6 effectively banning me from using the name Hermes due to automatic censors. This unresolved issue is related to the trademark of the name, possibly from the French clothing and accessory brand Hermès. This was reported on The Wild Hunt.

Over on facebook, a friend and a co-owner of The Vodou Store, Caeli D’Anto has also been dealing with a similar problem. PayPal blocked a transaction because the item description used the name Isis.

Caeli claims it has taken a number of communications over a three week period before having the ban lifted from his account.12645267_826553274121231_1668313348257889413_n

Terrorism is a valid fear in our communities, especially these morons blowing up sacred spaces, destroying history and killing the living. However we have to be aware of how much power they have over us through our own actions. Banning commonly used words and names from important internet infrastructure like PayPal is crippling our way of life and preventing honest, non-deviant business owners and customers from basic services agreed upon by PayPal’s TOS.

Words/names like Hermes and Isis are blacklisted and processed by an unthinking machine that cannot differentiate the complex and contextual meaning of words. What’s more they are sacred names, names of deities that have been used for thousands upon thousands of years. Names that are still used by Pagans and Polytheists to worship and honour their gods. It’s only in the last two years that the name Isis has been stigmatised by the Western Media.

Lastly, I admit I’m no anti-terrorist adviser but given that the Daesh cut out peoples tongues for speaking or referring to them as ISIS I seriously doubt they’d be stupid enough to use the acronym for terrorist online fundraisers… This all seems so nonsensical it’s making PayPal look dumber than the Daesh.

EDIT more info: Caeli D’Anto gave more insight into this issue:

Great post! Although it was actually 3 transactions that were declined. The worst part is that we would have never known had it not be for one of our customers contacting us letting us know that they couldn’t make a purchase. When I contacted PayPal, the rep mentioned that it “might be” because of the word Isis. They issued a ticket and they came back stating that they already declined the transaction so there is nothing they could do. They wanted to approvals of transactions on a per order basis which would have been an impossible task as we wouldn’t have known that people weren’t able to place orders. PayPal was the only one that had access to that information but only after the transaction was declined. It took many calls to get this resolved.

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6 thoughts on “More on Divine names being banned

  1. Well, I understand why Isis name might be flagged however I agree in that these companies need to do some real research to see in what context are names being used. (Also, companies can’t allow wrong-minded people to tarnish things like the name of Isis cause, not only could it set a very bad standard, it could also lead to wrongful associations like folks have concerning the swastika.)

    I remember reading about your problems with Society6 and I admit I was confused enough with their banning of your work that I did some research to see if it was backed by the Hermes company. (I actually thought about emailing the folks at Hermes directly but didn’t cause I wasn’t sure how useful that would be.) While I am an animist/polytheist/thing my reaction didn’t really stem from this, it was more, “how could anyone trademark a name like Hermes in the first place?” Just didn’t make sense.

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    1. I contacted Hermès legals and politely requested that I can use the name in its classical context, but heard nothing back from them. Also got in contact with lawyers here but they were a worried as it’s to much of a complex case, being international and all. I like you are confused at how this can happen. I guess the only thing we can keep doing is reporting the instances until our voices are heard.

      The Wild Hunt has been reporting the issues people are suffering using the name Isis, with businesses and organisations forcing to change their names. The worst of it is it’s not the Daesh perpetuating this in our communities, its the western media.

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      1. Well, I suppose the lawyers were right and I guess the only solution we have right now is to do as you say and keep reporting these things. I’m going to contact Hermes legals too and see if they respond because if they’re not aware of this someone needs to make them aware of it. And, yea, that’s what I was referring to: the companies, perhaps cause of several things, are perpetuating broad-brushing which, however well-intended, is not necessarily helpful.

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    1. I read an article a few months back that had eyewitness testimony claiming that do it for using abbreviations like IS and ISIS too. But who knows, the media is as sensationalist about this topic as much as the daesh themselves.

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