Sony forces Saudi gamer called Jihad to change his PSN ID

After banning his account.

Sony has forced a Saudi gamer to change his PSN Online ID after declaring it offensive.

Earlier in June, Sony banned 26-year-old Jihad Al Mofadda's PlayStation 4 account over his online ID, "iJihad".

As chronicled in a post on the PS4 subReddit, Al Mofadda endured a frustrating back and forth with PlayStation customer support as he tried to explain his situation - and even posted a picture of his passport to prove his real first name is in fact Jihad.

1
One of the emails PlayStation support sent to Jihad Al Mofadda.

"Before you hate on me, please remember 26 years ago, this s**t was not like this," he said.

"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 :)."

Al Mofadda had a brief email exchange with PlayStation customer support, and was offered the chance to change his PSN Online ID from iJihad to something else.

But then he received another email from PlayStation customer support, this time serving notice that Al Mofadda's account had been banned for breaching Sony's Terms of Service. Specifically, the use of Jihad in the PSN Online ID, which had been deemed "inappropriate and/or offensive".

Because of the ban, Al Mofadda no longer had access to any of his digital purchases - even offline. And Sony wanted him to create a new account just to keep using PlayStation Network.

Sony's approach came off as heavy-handed, and it wasn't long before Al Mofadda's plight hit the top of r/PS4 - and internet headlines.

"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."

Following the outcry, Sony once again got in touch with Al Mofadda, this time over the phone, to offer a PSN ID name change (Sony normally does not let people do this). The upshot is "iJihad" is now "Jiii".

But the switch comes at a cost, Al Mofadda said.

"My Trophies will have syncing problems and could disappear, friends are gone and social communication is deleted!" he said.

"There's no other way to it."

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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