Journalist Laurie Penny has expressed her frustration with Facebook for suspending the pseudonymous account she uses to avoid online abuse.

Penny, who writes for the New Statesman and the Guardian, said she doesn't use her real name on Facebook to escape the attention of trolls who have sent threatening messages in the past.

Facebook has already faced criticism for its "real names only" policy. Last year it was under fire for refusing to allow gay and transgender users to use their preferred identities, and critics say it has been haphazardly enforced.

Other prominent people affected by Facebook's policy include author Salman Rushdie and Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim.

Facebook's official policy states the rule on "authentic" names is there for safety reasons: "We require people to provide the name they use in real life; that way, you always know who you're connecting with. This helps keep our community safe." has contacted Facebook for further comment.

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