The director of the Panamian weekly ( El Capital Financiero ) whose name coincides with that of the Nazi leader talks abot the problems he have on the Internet. His case shows the difficulty of moderating online content.
His name has affected him in obvious, bizarre and unimaginable ways. His father, he says, would not mind if he changed the name: “Sometimes I have thought about it. But in all my diplomas and all my papers ‘Hitler’ appears. It would be very expensive to change all those papers .”
“My dad wanted to prove that there could be a good Hitler,” says Hitler Cigarruista, a 50-year-old Panamanian journalist. Cigarruista does not know if he has fulfilled the intention of the father, but he has endured his decision patiently throughout his life.
The last barriers that his name has raised are, precisely, the social networks. Namely on Facebook and Twitter, where “offensive or suggestive words” are not allowed. And Hitler seems to be one of them. To be able to have a profile on this social network, the journalist had to use his son’s name, Carlos, which again causes him some inconvenience: “the journalists who have known me for a long time challenge me and say ‘hello Carlos’ ”. It is also by that name that he is known at his son’s school, where he did not even waste time explaining that he was not, since in his country it is tradition for children to have their parents’ first names.
Only exception is LinkedIn, the network where he is most active and where he has 500+ contacts. Linkedin prevents “the promotion of false, illegal or defamatory names” and in addition to being able to detect them, it also has a team that will sort the profiles. It also has the community that can report such cases. So far his name has never generated any alerts.
Using Gmail, where there are also word restrictions when creating an account, Hitler was able to register account with his name. But more than once he had problems receiving e-mails. Once, the person who sent the e-mail explained to him: “ When I write your name in the mail and send it to you, it bounces back. It is not because your address does not exist but because the word cannot be used and it tells me that I am bullying you, ‘” ”.
Also when traveling his name has caused exclamations. The first time he went to Germany he noticed the look of the woman who received his passport. They even asked, amidst laughter, if that was his real name. And then they let him go.
“In my baptism certificate it says ‘José Hitler Cigarruista’,” he explains. “But that’s not my legal name, it’s just Hitler. My dad didn’t give me a choice, I don’t have a middle name,” he says.
Hitler’s brothers are called Syria and Andrés.