Facebook lets me back in…

I just received this email.

I answer Mike Arrington and several others in a video that now is up at http://www.mogulus.com/robertscoble.

UPDATE: In the video I cover a whole bunch of topics and take questions from the live audience that was there when filmed. Also, I told the audience that I am not using any Facebook data outside of Facebook and will delete the test account we used on Plaxo to do the tests.


Hi Robert,

Facebook’s Terms of Use broadly prohibits the running of automated scripts on the site because they can be used to commit malicious attacks, send spam, and generally try to undermine the integrity of the site. When our systems detect these types of scripts, they immediately disable the account of the user responsible as a preventative measure. This is what happened in your case – your automated script was exhibiting the same behavior as other malicious scripts that we have blocked before so your account was disabled.

Our standard process for handling cases when an account is disabled for security violations is to allow a user to appeal and remedy the situation. This is the process we have followed here. Since you contacted us and have agreed not to run the script again, we have reactivated your account. You should now be able to log in with your normal email and password. In the future, please refrain from running these types of scripts again.

Thanks,

Jerry
User Operations
Facebook

Comments

  1. Boy, this sure opened some conversations up for the new year. Interesting to see it all cycle through, to see the various perspectives, and to watch where it will take people next.

  2. Glad to see you are back on, Robert.

    I have to wonder if they would have reactivated anybody who was not as high profile as you are. Most businesses are slow this time of year, and it seemed awefully quick that you were given your account back.

  3. Glad to see you are back on, Robert.

    I have to wonder if they would have reactivated anybody who was not as high profile as you are. Most businesses are slow this time of year, and it seemed awefully quick that you were given your account back.

  4. Boy, this sure opened some conversations up for the new year. Interesting to see it all cycle through, to see the various perspectives, and to watch where it will take people next.

  5. What’s the big takeaway for you, Robert? Data Portability vs. TOS and all that, but one of the Big Questions is whether you’d move away from FB today, if a ready alternative was available? What’s your dream socnet look like?

  6. Robert, your post brings to mind two questions:
    1) what was the script?
    2) how does one turn on a script in FB – I always felt that the pages of FB itself were under tight lock and key?

  7. What’s the big takeaway for you, Robert? Data Portability vs. TOS and all that, but one of the Big Questions is whether you’d move away from FB today, if a ready alternative was available? What’s your dream socnet look like?

  8. Robert, your post brings to mind two questions:
    1) what was the script?
    2) how does one turn on a script in FB – I always felt that the pages of FB itself were under tight lock and key?

  9. I agree with Chris Brogan. The conversation around the incident was very interesting. Please accept me as your Facebook friend, I’m jumping over there right now.

  10. I agree with Chris Brogan. The conversation around the incident was very interesting. Please accept me as your Facebook friend, I’m jumping over there right now.

  11. Tsk, tsk, Robert. You should know better than to run naughty scripts on Facebook. Now, be a good boy and behave or risk being bitch slapped by Facebook again.

    Personally, I’m sick of walled-gardens on an open network such as the Internet. Human beings enjoy being divided by the few, eh?

  12. Tsk, tsk, Robert. You should know better than to run naughty scripts on Facebook. Now, be a good boy and behave or risk being bitch slapped by Facebook again.

    Personally, I’m sick of walled-gardens on an open network such as the Internet. Human beings enjoy being divided by the few, eh?

  13. I was “deleted” after I either…

    1) Poked too many people who were not my “friends”.
    2) Had a signature in my wall posts… which may look “spamish” (unless you mix it up, which is what real spammers do)
    3)????

    My problems is that FB said something like, “Don’t do things that are spamish…

    But, they didn’t say what had been done, and what NOT to do… because, how can i “not do” a task… if you don’t tell me what task is “bad”

    Thankfully they did reverse their “final” decision…. and after about 3-4 emails, and people tweeting to Save “acmephoto”…

    I’m glad I’m back, but it would have been nice if the “wrong activities” that threw up flags would have been.

    ~AdamPhoto / Adam Nollmeyer
    http://acmephotography.net/
    Phoenix, AZ

  14. I was “deleted” after I either…

    1) Poked too many people who were not my “friends”.
    2) Had a signature in my wall posts… which may look “spamish” (unless you mix it up, which is what real spammers do)
    3)????

    My problems is that FB said something like, “Don’t do things that are spamish…

    But, they didn’t say what had been done, and what NOT to do… because, how can i “not do” a task… if you don’t tell me what task is “bad”

    Thankfully they did reverse their “final” decision…. and after about 3-4 emails, and people tweeting to Save “acmephoto”…

    I’m glad I’m back, but it would have been nice if the “wrong activities” that threw up flags would have been.

    ~AdamPhoto / Adam Nollmeyer
    http://acmephotography.net/
    Phoenix, AZ

  15. Robert,

    Personally I believe you should still be banned from Facebook you broke their terms of use and as such the rules state you will be banned immediatly from Facebook.

    I don’t want you to download my personal details for you to keep.

    As such I have emailed both Facebook and Plaxo informing them of my disgust that you stole my personal details and that you have been allowed back in.

    William

  16. Robert,

    Personally I believe you should still be banned from Facebook you broke their terms of use and as such the rules state you will be banned immediatly from Facebook.

    I don’t want you to download my personal details for you to keep.

    As such I have emailed both Facebook and Plaxo informing them of my disgust that you stole my personal details and that you have been allowed back in.

    William

  17. Nice of them to let you back in. Although it was not your data that you were trying to retrieve. If someone is your friend on Facebook, their information is not suddenly yours.

  18. Nice of them to let you back in. Although it was not your data that you were trying to retrieve. If someone is your friend on Facebook, their information is not suddenly yours.

  19. I was kinda hoping that the ‘free the Scoble One’ FB group would end up with *more than* 5000 members! ;-)

    @William (#12): If you’re a FB friend of Robert’s, then I suggest you end it right now.
    You’re just not going to get on!

  20. I was kinda hoping that the ‘free the Scoble One’ FB group would end up with *more than* 5000 members! ;-)

    @William (#12): If you’re a FB friend of Robert’s, then I suggest you end it right now.
    You’re just not going to get on!

  21. Ok, there’s some legitimacy in the script issue and TOS. But it looks like Facebook are going to have to come to terms with the fact they’ll get unpopular fast if they continue to deny people the right to access their_own_data. Yes, that includes some of my data, because I gave you license to that data, not just the *display* of that data (google “Nasreddin and the Smell of Soup”).

    There’s so much more to be gained from the network effect that it’s inevitable that the walled gardens will open up, it offers the companies that recognise the benefits early a head start. My guess is this could be the year the cracks really start to show.

    I still wouldn’t like to be in their shoes – there’ll still be a fair proportion of folks that haven’t thought through what granting other *individuals* access to their data means. Another prediction: a flurry of data licenses (starting with http://www.opendatacommons.org/ ).

  22. Ok, there’s some legitimacy in the script issue and TOS. But it looks like Facebook are going to have to come to terms with the fact they’ll get unpopular fast if they continue to deny people the right to access their_own_data. Yes, that includes some of my data, because I gave you license to that data, not just the *display* of that data (google “Nasreddin and the Smell of Soup”).

    There’s so much more to be gained from the network effect that it’s inevitable that the walled gardens will open up, it offers the companies that recognise the benefits early a head start. My guess is this could be the year the cracks really start to show.

    I still wouldn’t like to be in their shoes – there’ll still be a fair proportion of folks that haven’t thought through what granting other *individuals* access to their data means. Another prediction: a flurry of data licenses (starting with http://www.opendatacommons.org/ ).

  23. William, if you watched the video you’ll notice that I didn’t use the data that I got out of Facebook.

    Not to mention that I could have written down your email address and then hand typed it back into Outlook. Would that make you feel better?

  24. William, if you watched the video you’ll notice that I didn’t use the data that I got out of Facebook.

    Not to mention that I could have written down your email address and then hand typed it back into Outlook. Would that make you feel better?

  25. What an own goal for Facebook. To chuck you out then let you back so quick. Good publicity stunt, though. Next time I’m on FB I must remember to throw a sheep at you. Or would you rather some flowers?

  26. What an own goal for Facebook. To chuck you out then let you back so quick. Good publicity stunt, though. Next time I’m on FB I must remember to throw a sheep at you. Or would you rather some flowers?

  27. Facebook Disables, Then Reinstates Robert Scoble

    Robert Scoble had his Facebook account suspended. Apparently he was doing some things that were against his users agreement on the social network. I suspect this is just an automated script on Facebook’s part. The expectation being that if you

  28. @17 – William – if you don’t want people using your personal details, don’t make em public on Facebook or any other website. Duh! Pretty simple stuff dude.

  29. @17 – William – if you don’t want people using your personal details, don’t make em public on Facebook or any other website. Duh! Pretty simple stuff dude.

  30. I think the point is that this and other incidents have started a discussion that Facebook ought to pay attentiion to, if they want to sustain their leadership position. If they don’t listen to and respect their customers, it won’t pay off for them in the long run, even if they get a short-term bump from the negative publicity (and unfortunately, negative publicity has still gotten them more users in the past). In the longer term, they’ll need ongoing customer good will, though. Being “right,” on their terms, without listening to customer feedback and frustrations, is not a sustainable strategy.

    Cathryn/Creative Sage(tm)

  31. I think the point is that this and other incidents have started a discussion that Facebook ought to pay attentiion to, if they want to sustain their leadership position. If they don’t listen to and respect their customers, it won’t pay off for them in the long run, even if they get a short-term bump from the negative publicity (and unfortunately, negative publicity has still gotten them more users in the past). In the longer term, they’ll need ongoing customer good will, though. Being “right,” on their terms, without listening to customer feedback and frustrations, is not a sustainable strategy.

    Cathryn/Creative Sage(tm)

  32. Yes, Facebook OUGHT to pay attention to this discussion, but will they? I am disheartened that in so many cases American (mostly) consumers will continue to use products from companies that do hateful things. The founder of the company gives every appearance of being a total ass, and from interactions I’ve seen from the company as a whole, it is created in his image.

    I think their response to you is BS. they didn’t re-instate your account because you promised not to do it again, they re-instated you because you are a celebrity and they don’t want bad PR.

    The only bright side to this is that the company is so sociopathically unethical that EVENTUALLY, MAYBE their bad behavior will have a negative (I would hope fatal) impact on valuation.

    The other thing I hope you use your audience to get the word out is that when your account is disabled, canceled, whatever, whether by you or Facebook, they KEEP all your data!

    Almost every other company does just the opposite and will generally warn you of this when you sign up. Remember, when you give data to Facebook, they own it forever, even if you later decide you don’t want to use the service. That includes all the stuff they conveniently scraped from your other services. Hopefully they will eventually get sued over this, I think it is outrageous.

  33. Yes, Facebook OUGHT to pay attention to this discussion, but will they? I am disheartened that in so many cases American (mostly) consumers will continue to use products from companies that do hateful things. The founder of the company gives every appearance of being a total ass, and from interactions I’ve seen from the company as a whole, it is created in his image.

    I think their response to you is BS. they didn’t re-instate your account because you promised not to do it again, they re-instated you because you are a celebrity and they don’t want bad PR.

    The only bright side to this is that the company is so sociopathically unethical that EVENTUALLY, MAYBE their bad behavior will have a negative (I would hope fatal) impact on valuation.

    The other thing I hope you use your audience to get the word out is that when your account is disabled, canceled, whatever, whether by you or Facebook, they KEEP all your data!

    Almost every other company does just the opposite and will generally warn you of this when you sign up. Remember, when you give data to Facebook, they own it forever, even if you later decide you don’t want to use the service. That includes all the stuff they conveniently scraped from your other services. Hopefully they will eventually get sued over this, I think it is outrageous.

  34. I just wonder if this might make Facebook see how many people would want this type of feature, and if they do acknowledge that desire, would they allow it in the near future?

  35. I just wonder if this might make Facebook see how many people would want this type of feature, and if they do acknowledge that desire, would they allow it in the near future?

  36. I can’t believe he actually said “preventative” …ugh. To quote a friend of mine: “Yes, I do look down on your for your poor grammar.”

  37. I can’t believe he actually said “preventative” …ugh. To quote a friend of mine: “Yes, I do look down on your for your poor grammar.”

  38. > Not to mention that I could have written down your email address and then hand typed it back into Outlook

    Mmmm… some doubts:

    Would you type 5000 emails by hand? (and thousands of daily personal events?)

    Would you fight against against spammers or ask for antispam laws or privacy measures? They could have written down your email^W postal address by hand.

    Why do you ask for open data interchange between platforms if you could do it manually?

    Have you ever heard about differences between manual and automatic data processing?

  39. > Not to mention that I could have written down your email address and then hand typed it back into Outlook

    Mmmm… some doubts:

    Would you type 5000 emails by hand? (and thousands of daily personal events?)

    Would you fight against against spammers or ask for antispam laws or privacy measures? They could have written down your email^W postal address by hand.

    Why do you ask for open data interchange between platforms if you could do it manually?

    Have you ever heard about differences between manual and automatic data processing?

  40. If you have contacts in Outlook and then get a different e-mail client, are you allowed to export and import them into the new program?

    I DIDN’T GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO DO THIS. Heh.

  41. If you have contacts in Outlook and then get a different e-mail client, are you allowed to export and import them into the new program?

    I DIDN’T GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO DO THIS. Heh.

  42. There was one court case where a judge ruled that a TOS was one-sided. A periphery to come from all of this is about the TOS in general. A TOS is not a law.

  43. There was one court case where a judge ruled that a TOS was one-sided. A periphery to come from all of this is about the TOS in general. A TOS is not a law.

  44. rss’ing scoble for years.

    I wish u still worked at Microsoft.

    Much more interesting stuff.

    the last 1/2 year has been facebook, this facebook that.

    I do have to admire your schtick, though.

    Create controversy, ride the wave, take VC $.

    In fact, I’m a tad jealous.

    It’s a classic south park/slashdot thing.

    blog about this or that
    blog that this or that done you wrong
    milk it
    $$!

  45. rss’ing scoble for years.

    I wish u still worked at Microsoft.

    Much more interesting stuff.

    the last 1/2 year has been facebook, this facebook that.

    I do have to admire your schtick, though.

    Create controversy, ride the wave, take VC $.

    In fact, I’m a tad jealous.

    It’s a classic south park/slashdot thing.

    blog about this or that
    blog that this or that done you wrong
    milk it
    $$!

  46. “There’s so much more to be gained from the network effect that it’s inevitable that the walled gardens will open up, it offers the companies that recognise the benefits early a head start. My guess is this could be the year the cracks really start to show.”

    It is a very rare thing that I disagree with you Danny, but I do with this one.

    I think a network effect works to a point, but when you start talking about 5000 friends (or even 500), all that exists is noise. I think there may be a benefit to the leading light, but not the dim little bulbs, clustered around.

    People are justifying their participation in this debate because it brings out the issue of what is private and not; where does one’s data end and another’s begin. There might be discussion on this in 2008, a move here or there for openness, but in the end, you have to realize that 99.99999% of the people on Facebook don’t know Scoble, you, me, or any of the people involved in this discussion, and just want to play Scrabulous.

    In other words, the clamor for openness is coming from a tiny minority of users. Noisy users, true. But a minority.

    So many people just got through trashing Facebook over Beacon, for not protecting privacy. Finally people are starting to wake up to the need of privacy.

    If there’s a discussion this year, I think it will be the long overdue discussion about protecting one’s identify, and one’s ‘data’ in this online world–no matter how chi chi we get about what we call it.

    Rather than fewer gates, look for more.

  47. “There’s so much more to be gained from the network effect that it’s inevitable that the walled gardens will open up, it offers the companies that recognise the benefits early a head start. My guess is this could be the year the cracks really start to show.”

    It is a very rare thing that I disagree with you Danny, but I do with this one.

    I think a network effect works to a point, but when you start talking about 5000 friends (or even 500), all that exists is noise. I think there may be a benefit to the leading light, but not the dim little bulbs, clustered around.

    People are justifying their participation in this debate because it brings out the issue of what is private and not; where does one’s data end and another’s begin. There might be discussion on this in 2008, a move here or there for openness, but in the end, you have to realize that 99.99999% of the people on Facebook don’t know Scoble, you, me, or any of the people involved in this discussion, and just want to play Scrabulous.

    In other words, the clamor for openness is coming from a tiny minority of users. Noisy users, true. But a minority.

    So many people just got through trashing Facebook over Beacon, for not protecting privacy. Finally people are starting to wake up to the need of privacy.

    If there’s a discussion this year, I think it will be the long overdue discussion about protecting one’s identify, and one’s ‘data’ in this online world–no matter how chi chi we get about what we call it.

    Rather than fewer gates, look for more.

  48. I think the larger issue for 2008 is not privacy or openness, but of ownership. Are we lending, selling, or giving away our data? And when does our data cross the line from being private to public? We need more transparency in the terms of all data transactions in order to judge whether we’re getting a good deal for what we’re giving up.

  49. I think the larger issue for 2008 is not privacy or openness, but of ownership. Are we lending, selling, or giving away our data? And when does our data cross the line from being private to public? We need more transparency in the terms of all data transactions in order to judge whether we’re getting a good deal for what we’re giving up.

  50. Your opponents are totally missing the point. As part of the action of inviting Scoble to be my friend (or accepting an invite to be his) I gave him the right to see my email address and contact me. Facebook’s “you can revoke that right at any time” is like asking to see the prices on the menu after you ordered and ate the food. (ok, the other image I had involved an adult theme)

    Once someone gets to see it, it’s out there and you can’t take it back. Ask anyone in a relationship who says something and then wanted to take it back. Facebook is building a business on a principle that you surrender any rights you have to information because you choose to use their free service.

    So it’s ok in your book for Facebook to scrape other sites for information, use it in ways that the web operator and the user un-intended but god forbid someone chooses to exercise their rights to information.

    Here is an item to ponder. If I gave you a business card, but the card has a disclaimer that you cannot mechanically or electronically reproduce it, do you have the right to drop it into your cardscan scanner to add it to your Outlook?

    If you say I don’t have that right, do you think I have the right to transcribe that information myself into an outlook contact card by entering it at the keyboard (either myself, or by contracting services to enter my data for me).

    Where does the line get drawn, or do I go back to drawing on the walls of my cave instead of the wall at Facebook. BTW get all those dammed anthropologist out of my cave, those drawings are (c) 10,000BC by ME .. Didn’t you understand the squiggle, dash, dash, and circle as my copyright symbol?

  51. Your opponents are totally missing the point. As part of the action of inviting Scoble to be my friend (or accepting an invite to be his) I gave him the right to see my email address and contact me. Facebook’s “you can revoke that right at any time” is like asking to see the prices on the menu after you ordered and ate the food. (ok, the other image I had involved an adult theme)

    Once someone gets to see it, it’s out there and you can’t take it back. Ask anyone in a relationship who says something and then wanted to take it back. Facebook is building a business on a principle that you surrender any rights you have to information because you choose to use their free service.

    So it’s ok in your book for Facebook to scrape other sites for information, use it in ways that the web operator and the user un-intended but god forbid someone chooses to exercise their rights to information.

    Here is an item to ponder. If I gave you a business card, but the card has a disclaimer that you cannot mechanically or electronically reproduce it, do you have the right to drop it into your cardscan scanner to add it to your Outlook?

    If you say I don’t have that right, do you think I have the right to transcribe that information myself into an outlook contact card by entering it at the keyboard (either myself, or by contracting services to enter my data for me).

    Where does the line get drawn, or do I go back to drawing on the walls of my cave instead of the wall at Facebook. BTW get all those dammed anthropologist out of my cave, those drawings are (c) 10,000BC by ME .. Didn’t you understand the squiggle, dash, dash, and circle as my copyright symbol?

  52. I joined Facebook because they are, relatively speaking, diligent custodians of my personal data.

    I am glad Facebook detects and disables automatic scraping of my data by erstwhile “friends”.

  53. I joined Facebook because they are, relatively speaking, diligent custodians of my personal data.

    I am glad Facebook detects and disables automatic scraping of my data by erstwhile “friends”.

  54. Robert,

    As a friend of yours on Facebook, I give you express written permission to scrape any personal data that I have expressly exposed to you via Facebook settings for your own personal use.

    Regards,
    Jay

  55. Robert,

    As a friend of yours on Facebook, I give you express written permission to scrape any personal data that I have expressly exposed to you via Facebook settings for your own personal use.

    Regards,
    Jay

  56. If I tell someone my name, I am giving them permission to use it. I am essentially giving away a piece of data to be used as an index of me. They can keep it in their memory, write it down, type it up (in any font) and yes… save it into a database.

    It is not the possession of someone’s personal data that is illegal. It is the abuse of that data.

    If I choose to expose a piece of data on Facebook, is it not as good as a business card?

  57. If I tell someone my name, I am giving them permission to use it. I am essentially giving away a piece of data to be used as an index of me. They can keep it in their memory, write it down, type it up (in any font) and yes… save it into a database.

    It is not the possession of someone’s personal data that is illegal. It is the abuse of that data.

    If I choose to expose a piece of data on Facebook, is it not as good as a business card?

  58. I think 31 hit it right on the head – this wouldn’t happen to any random schmo, only to someone who can get a whole bunch of bad publicity to FB.

    But, c’est la vie, that’s the way things work, eh?

  59. I think 31 hit it right on the head – this wouldn’t happen to any random schmo, only to someone who can get a whole bunch of bad publicity to FB.

    But, c’est la vie, that’s the way things work, eh?

  60. Now, just leave Facebook, and choose another competitor. I wouldn’t stay with Facebook one day more.

  61. [...] Some notes. Read that Om Malik, founder of GigaOm, had a heart attack (at age of 41) but he’s fine now. Robert Scoble has been deleted from, and by, Facebook due to data issues, but latest is he’s just been reactivated. [...]

  62. Final Scores:

    Scoble 0 – a tool, of Plaxo, and a tool in general.

    Plaxo 0 – Spam company de jour Part 2, no less, someone go knock on the Federal Trade Commission’s door, like now.

    Facebook 0 – 1+ for not playing the celebrity-ego-games, but minus 1 for Beacon and everything else, but Caveat Emptor, you knew such going in.

    Bloggers 0 – for bothering to care.

    Me -10 – for bothering to comment.

  63. Final Scores:

    Scoble 0 – a tool, of Plaxo, and a tool in general.

    Plaxo 0 – Spam company de jour Part 2, no less, someone go knock on the Federal Trade Commission’s door, like now.

    Facebook 0 – 1+ for not playing the celebrity-ego-games, but minus 1 for Beacon and everything else, but Caveat Emptor, you knew such going in.

    Bloggers 0 – for bothering to care.

    Me -10 – for bothering to comment.

  64. I have to wonder if they would have reactivated anybody who was not as high profile as you are.

    Of course they wouldn’t have.

    Plaxo can release this script, they just have to add a function that pauses a random amount of time between scraping data so that it doesn’t trigger facebook’s bot warning system.

    Of course, what facebook really should do is build an XML exporter for user accounts and leave it up to third-parties to create the parsers that import this data properly. This is more a political problem than a technical one.

  65. I have to wonder if they would have reactivated anybody who was not as high profile as you are.

    Of course they wouldn’t have.

    Plaxo can release this script, they just have to add a function that pauses a random amount of time between scraping data so that it doesn’t trigger facebook’s bot warning system.

    Of course, what facebook really should do is build an XML exporter for user accounts and leave it up to third-parties to create the parsers that import this data properly. This is more a political problem than a technical one.

  66. [...] Toda una hábil maniobra si no fuera porque, claro, pequeño detalle sin importancia… Facebook no está en absoluto de acuerdo. Ademas, para terminar de liarla, la reacción de Facebook ha sido la que cabía esperar dadas las circunstancias: al detectar la actividad del script, decide suspender de manera inmediata las cuentas de los usuarios que lo estaban empleando, que no eran ni más ni menos que periodistas y analistas que habían sido invitados por Plaxo para actuar como beta-testers, sin que Plaxo hubiese pedido permiso ni prevenido a Facebook en modo alguno para tal actividad. Como resultado de la batalla, personas como el enormemente popular Robert Scoble han sido suspendidos en Facebook (TechCrunch, Scobleizer) por infringir los términos de uso, con todo el ruido que ello conlleva a pesar de su prácticamente automática readmisión. [...]

  67. You’re happy to go back? Despite wanting to take your social graph with you and not being allowed? Surely you’d have achieved more for those who want to be able to take such data with them by making a stand and not going back there. As it is Facebook have brushed the issue under the carpet by allowing you back, they don’t want to debate this.

    Eric Rice “There was one court case where a judge ruled that a TOS was one-sided. A periphery to come from all of this is about the TOS in general. A TOS is not a law.”

    Indeed there was Eric, there was the Second Life case:

    http://secondlife.reuters.com/stories/2007/05/31/judge-rules-against-one-sided-tos-in-bragg-lawsuit/

    There was another case involving a phone company but I can’t recall which company that was.

  68. You’re happy to go back? Despite wanting to take your social graph with you and not being allowed? Surely you’d have achieved more for those who want to be able to take such data with them by making a stand and not going back there. As it is Facebook have brushed the issue under the carpet by allowing you back, they don’t want to debate this.

    Eric Rice “There was one court case where a judge ruled that a TOS was one-sided. A periphery to come from all of this is about the TOS in general. A TOS is not a law.”

    Indeed there was Eric, there was the Second Life case:

    http://secondlife.reuters.com/stories/2007/05/31/judge-rules-against-one-sided-tos-in-bragg-lawsuit/

    There was another case involving a phone company but I can’t recall which company that was.

  69. It’s hard to believe this story about one guy being kicked out of Facebook is still garnering so much attention. Techmeme has been Scoble-ized again.

  70. It’s hard to believe this story about one guy being kicked out of Facebook is still garnering so much attention. Techmeme has been Scoble-ized again.

  71. I truly do not comprehend why so many people are up in arms about Facebook’s process here. If I run automated code which rips data out of a third party environment, surely there is no argument: the community owner must disable the ‘perpetrator’ to identify the threat and to protect the platform and their users. Facebook verified the threat level and now re-activated the account, that’s good practice as far as I’m concerned. If you want to make data exports ‘kosher’, here’s a suggestion:

    1. Facebook creates manual export function for account holders
    2. Account holders opt in or opt out to having their data exported by their friends

  72. I truly do not comprehend why so many people are up in arms about Facebook’s process here. If I run automated code which rips data out of a third party environment, surely there is no argument: the community owner must disable the ‘perpetrator’ to identify the threat and to protect the platform and their users. Facebook verified the threat level and now re-activated the account, that’s good practice as far as I’m concerned. If you want to make data exports ‘kosher’, here’s a suggestion:

    1. Facebook creates manual export function for account holders
    2. Account holders opt in or opt out to having their data exported by their friends

  73. Thought I would through my two cents into the bucket on my blog http://www.blackandmaple.com/. I feel that Plaxo should have cleared it first before going for such a public test as they knew you would probably get shut off and it would then become public. But I also think Facebook needs to become much more open and this has really brought light to the issue.

    Thanks for the video cast yesterday – I very much enjoyed listening to your responses and general tech talk!

  74. Thought I would through my two cents into the bucket on my blog http://www.blackandmaple.com/. I feel that Plaxo should have cleared it first before going for such a public test as they knew you would probably get shut off and it would then become public. But I also think Facebook needs to become much more open and this has really brought light to the issue.

    Thanks for the video cast yesterday – I very much enjoyed listening to your responses and general tech talk!

  75. I often travel around the wordpress-sphere to read blogs, good and terrific, but have a hard time understanding why wordpress puts your complaint on top of the front page. There are much better blogs on much more important topics which deserve to be above the fold; yours certainly does not.

    just my opinion.

  76. I often travel around the wordpress-sphere to read blogs, good and terrific, but have a hard time understanding why wordpress puts your complaint on top of the front page. There are much better blogs on much more important topics which deserve to be above the fold; yours certainly does not.

    just my opinion.

  77. Sorry, but Robert doesn’t get my vote on this one. If I own a house and rent it to him and he signs a lease (read ‘terms of service’)which prevents him from slaughtering cattle in the living room, and he does so anyway, I’ll probably evict him.

    If my lease states that he cannot have overnight guests, I’m a overbearing landlord, and he should look elsewhere. That clause will probably hurt my house’s rentability, as it should. Prospective tenants may even organize a boycott. They may challenge it legally and win.

    So – if Facebook is the 900 lb. gorilla -cancel your account and boycott it. Bad terms of service or bad terms in the lease do not remove your obligation to abide by them. Your obligation is to not agree to them in the first place and not do business with them. You have no entitlement to break the rules. This is no the “lesser of two evils” defense.

    Being a rebel doesn’t make you right – just hard to live with.

  78. Sorry, but Robert doesn’t get my vote on this one. If I own a house and rent it to him and he signs a lease (read ‘terms of service’)which prevents him from slaughtering cattle in the living room, and he does so anyway, I’ll probably evict him.

    If my lease states that he cannot have overnight guests, I’m a overbearing landlord, and he should look elsewhere. That clause will probably hurt my house’s rentability, as it should. Prospective tenants may even organize a boycott. They may challenge it legally and win.

    So – if Facebook is the 900 lb. gorilla -cancel your account and boycott it. Bad terms of service or bad terms in the lease do not remove your obligation to abide by them. Your obligation is to not agree to them in the first place and not do business with them. You have no entitlement to break the rules. This is no the “lesser of two evils” defense.

    Being a rebel doesn’t make you right – just hard to live with.

  79. Robert, I’ve read your blog for quite a while, and most of the time it is good information. But in this case, using your clout, so to speak, to bypass a site’s TOS, and then blame the site for your account being disabled is bad form. You broke the rules, pay the price, or at least do something to make sure that this didn’t just happen because of YOUR subscriber base. Every FB user should have the same rights, regardless of their exposure. You have an opportunity to lobby for data portability, but at the same time you have to ability to create awareness of a larger problem, special treatment for breaking the rules, just because you can influence their PR. Aren’t the other users allowed the same fairness? Let’s be honest, you likely got reinstated because of the stink you raised, not because of the appeal process you went through. There are bigger issues to deal with, your FB account shouldn’t be this important.

  80. Robert, I’ve read your blog for quite a while, and most of the time it is good information. But in this case, using your clout, so to speak, to bypass a site’s TOS, and then blame the site for your account being disabled is bad form. You broke the rules, pay the price, or at least do something to make sure that this didn’t just happen because of YOUR subscriber base. Every FB user should have the same rights, regardless of their exposure. You have an opportunity to lobby for data portability, but at the same time you have to ability to create awareness of a larger problem, special treatment for breaking the rules, just because you can influence their PR. Aren’t the other users allowed the same fairness? Let’s be honest, you likely got reinstated because of the stink you raised, not because of the appeal process you went through. There are bigger issues to deal with, your FB account shouldn’t be this important.

  81. it’s hard to believe anyone cares what Robby says now that he’s left microsoft. where’s the appeal in some dork talking about his facebook experience like he has self-entitlement to not get kick offed the site for his malicious-looking scripts?

    Robby, please go work for cisco or apple or ibm so we’ll think you’re somewhat important again.

  82. it’s hard to believe anyone cares what Robby says now that he’s left microsoft. where’s the appeal in some dork talking about his facebook experience like he has self-entitlement to not get kick offed the site for his malicious-looking scripts?

    Robby, please go work for cisco or apple or ibm so we’ll think you’re somewhat important again.

  83. Scoble: “William, if you watched the video you’ll notice that I didn’t use the data that I got out of Facebook. Not to mention that I could have written down your email address and then hand typed it back into Outlook. Would that make you feel better?”

    Yes, Robert, that is much better. Why? Because a human being did it. And that’s what Facebook data is about: human to human contact. That is the trust that the *average* user gives to Facebook. You are not average, as are many who commenters here.

    Facebook is about people having a place on the Web to connect with individuals. And most are *not* interested in someone scraping their data. I applaud Facebook for clarifying their TOS with you. And I am glad to see that you are abiding by their TOS.

    PEAS to your Friday!: http://www.frozenpeafund.com

  84. Scoble: “William, if you watched the video you’ll notice that I didn’t use the data that I got out of Facebook. Not to mention that I could have written down your email address and then hand typed it back into Outlook. Would that make you feel better?”

    Yes, Robert, that is much better. Why? Because a human being did it. And that’s what Facebook data is about: human to human contact. That is the trust that the *average* user gives to Facebook. You are not average, as are many who commenters here.

    Facebook is about people having a place on the Web to connect with individuals. And most are *not* interested in someone scraping their data. I applaud Facebook for clarifying their TOS with you. And I am glad to see that you are abiding by their TOS.

    PEAS to your Friday!: http://www.frozenpeafund.com

  85. You have eloquently demonstrated that Facebook is the Roach Motel of Social Media

    An interesting related point is that Google also prevents bots from scraping the data that they themselves have scraped from others. How long before the content providers wise up and charge scrapers like Google for the privilege of Hoovering their content?

    I predict that the 11th commandment for Web 2.0 is “Always be the scraper, never the scrapee.”

  86. You have eloquently demonstrated that Facebook is the Roach Motel of Social Media

    An interesting related point is that Google also prevents bots from scraping the data that they themselves have scraped from others. How long before the content providers wise up and charge scrapers like Google for the privilege of Hoovering their content?

    I predict that the 11th commandment for Web 2.0 is “Always be the scraper, never the scrapee.”

  87. On Social Networking

    People are beginning to question the necessity of Facebook. It’s clear that like any social network, it is worthless without the massive amounts of user data we provide. If something better comes along, a mass exodus is likely. Or is it?

  88. [...] Over the last few days there’s been a lot of discussion on the ‘net on the topic of data portability among social networking sites. It all started when blogger Robert Scoble got his Facebook account suspended for violating Facebook’s Terms of Service (ToS). He was running a script (which was the violation) from Plaxo that goes to all your friends’ profile pages and collects (scrapes) their contact information from them (i.e. the pages). [He’s since been let back in.] [...]

  89. you’re quite possibly the biggest tool on the internet. don’t break the terms of use and you won’t get your facebook taken away.
    DUH

  90. you’re quite possibly the biggest tool on the internet. don’t break the terms of use and you won’t get your facebook taken away.
    DUH

  91. So what did you do? It seems the only way you can delete your FB account!

    You can only ‘disable’ it and I have a problem not being able to delete my data/profile! So why not get them to do it?

    When I want to leave I might try it then….:-P

  92. So what did you do? It seems the only way you can delete your FB account!

    You can only ‘disable’ it and I have a problem not being able to delete my data/profile! So why not get them to do it?

    When I want to leave I might try it then….:-P

  93. Now that FB and Google have joined DataPortability.org, I hope none of my friends are spammers (who must be DROOLING at the possibilities).

    I personally LIKE the walled garden of Facebook, because I only use it to communicate, organize events and have fun with people I know in real life… you know, the thing that FB was designed for, and made it useful.

  94. Now that FB and Google have joined DataPortability.org, I hope none of my friends are spammers (who must be DROOLING at the possibilities).

    I personally LIKE the walled garden of Facebook, because I only use it to communicate, organize events and have fun with people I know in real life… you know, the thing that FB was designed for, and made it useful.

  95. “I could have written down your email address and then hand typed it back into Outlook. Would that make you feel better?”

    Yes – because it’s more time-consuming, so there is a natural limit to how much of this you can do, and because it’s much more of hassle, so there’s a much smaller chance of you bothering to do it.

    Take both together, and there’s a *significantly* lower chances of you harvesting it. And the only reason I put it in a walled garden was that the garden was walled.

    If I wanted my details widely published, I could have done that in the first place.

  96. “I could have written down your email address and then hand typed it back into Outlook. Would that make you feel better?”

    Yes – because it’s more time-consuming, so there is a natural limit to how much of this you can do, and because it’s much more of hassle, so there’s a much smaller chance of you bothering to do it.

    Take both together, and there’s a *significantly* lower chances of you harvesting it. And the only reason I put it in a walled garden was that the garden was walled.

    If I wanted my details widely published, I could have done that in the first place.

  97. riggald — sorry but you are full of it. I typed 5,000 names and emails in a couple of hours. No biggie. And if you do not want your stuff to get out, why put your email on your profile anyway? Just force people to message you on Facebook.

  98. riggald — sorry but you are full of it. I typed 5,000 names and emails in a couple of hours. No biggie. And if you do not want your stuff to get out, why put your email on your profile anyway? Just force people to message you on Facebook.

  99. Facebook have said the following “Your account was disabled because you engaged in behavior other users reported as harassing in nature. It is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Use to harass users on the site, whether through unsolicited messages, friend requests, pokes or other features. We will not be able to reactivate your account for any reason. This decision is final.”

    All I was doing was sending messages who users who sent me messages and now facebook will not reactivate my account.

  100. Facebook have said the following “Your account was disabled because you engaged in behavior other users reported as harassing in nature. It is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Use to harass users on the site, whether through unsolicited messages, friend requests, pokes or other features. We will not be able to reactivate your account for any reason. This decision is final.”

    All I was doing was sending messages who users who sent me messages and now facebook will not reactivate my account.

  101. I have the same problem as Max..
    I dont know what to do, or who to complaint to

    I felt shocked when FB disabled my account. it has very rare photos for me, and all my contacts and messages, with no backup.

    I sent to disabled@facebook.com and appeal@facebook.com, but havnt got replies.

    I need my things in the account.. Can anyone help me get back the stuff in the account? or even activate the account back?

    I’m in a social mess now :( I dont know what to do

  102. I have the same problem as Max..
    I dont know what to do, or who to complaint to

    I felt shocked when FB disabled my account. it has very rare photos for me, and all my contacts and messages, with no backup.

    I sent to disabled@facebook.com and appeal@facebook.com, but havnt got replies.

    I need my things in the account.. Can anyone help me get back the stuff in the account? or even activate the account back?

    I’m in a social mess now :( I dont know what to do

  103. I don’t understand that what exactly the facebook’s privacy policies are?? First they tell that we should not tell anybody’s activites and then they only tell it to everyone via their news feed application.

  104. I don’t understand that what exactly the facebook’s privacy policies are?? First they tell that we should not tell anybody’s activites and then they only tell it to everyone via their news feed application.

  105. robert, my count is disabled and i dont know what to do, i want it back! please help me! tell me exactly waht you did!

  106. robert, my count is disabled and i dont know what to do, i want it back! please help me! tell me exactly waht you did!

  107. How long was your account disabled for?!

    I was sending out messages to people within my university network and I was thinking that it was OK because they were in my network. I didn’t notice the violation warning until it was too late

  108. How long was your account disabled for?!

    I was sending out messages to people within my university network and I was thinking that it was OK because they were in my network. I didn’t notice the violation warning until it was too late

  109. I was disabled 3 days ago. I got one email frm them the day it happened saying something like they were looking it to my inquire. Have not heard any thing scens. I would love to know what else I cna do to get soem answers on to reopening my account. How long do I have to wait to here back form some one?

  110. I was disabled 3 days ago. I got one email frm them the day it happened saying something like they were looking it to my inquire. Have not heard any thing scens. I would love to know what else I cna do to get soem answers on to reopening my account. How long do I have to wait to here back form some one?

  111. I read somewhere else that it helps to be polite in order to get a response from facebook! frankly I don’t see why I should be- I’ve done NOTHING wrong and have had noo warning that my account would be disabled! they reckon i have to be part of a high school network, but I’ve never had a network [just like a billion other people!]
    I’m not having this.
    I’ve sent them a rather pressing email and am planning on carrying on doing that if I don’t get a reply within the next week!haha

    heres my email do you think it’s too rude? do you think I’ll get a reply?or even get my account reactivated??

    —————————
    My account has been disabled because I have not joined a high school network.

    However, I have never belonged to any network, ever since I joined facebook, many, many months ago- and have NEVER had any sort warning from Facebook that this might mean my account would be disabled! I feel very angry as if I had been made aware that belonging to ‘no network’ [just like many other users on 'facebook', and as something very easy to do] meant I would consequuently lose my account, I would most certainly have joined one.

    I therefore feel disabling my account so suddenly and arbitrarily as an apparant punishment for something I did not even know I was doing wrong, is very harsh and drastic behaviour especially for a ‘social networking site’ created for use by general, ordinary people. Perhaps such drastic behaviour should be made clearer in your ‘Terms of Use’, as I am sure you are aware your youngest users are 13 years old?

    I would like my account back as soon as possible, and if it is so vital, I will gladly join a network, but please give me every opportunity to do this!

    In future I suggest you are curteous enough to send your members due warning that their account will be disabled, and the precise reason why- in order to allow them to do something about it.
    ——————————————

  112. I read somewhere else that it helps to be polite in order to get a response from facebook! frankly I don’t see why I should be- I’ve done NOTHING wrong and have had noo warning that my account would be disabled! they reckon i have to be part of a high school network, but I’ve never had a network [just like a billion other people!]
    I’m not having this.
    I’ve sent them a rather pressing email and am planning on carrying on doing that if I don’t get a reply within the next week!haha

    heres my email do you think it’s too rude? do you think I’ll get a reply?or even get my account reactivated??

    —————————
    My account has been disabled because I have not joined a high school network.

    However, I have never belonged to any network, ever since I joined facebook, many, many months ago- and have NEVER had any sort warning from Facebook that this might mean my account would be disabled! I feel very angry as if I had been made aware that belonging to ‘no network’ [just like many other users on 'facebook', and as something very easy to do] meant I would consequuently lose my account, I would most certainly have joined one.

    I therefore feel disabling my account so suddenly and arbitrarily as an apparant punishment for something I did not even know I was doing wrong, is very harsh and drastic behaviour especially for a ‘social networking site’ created for use by general, ordinary people. Perhaps such drastic behaviour should be made clearer in your ‘Terms of Use’, as I am sure you are aware your youngest users are 13 years old?

    I would like my account back as soon as possible, and if it is so vital, I will gladly join a network, but please give me every opportunity to do this!

    In future I suggest you are curteous enough to send your members due warning that their account will be disabled, and the precise reason why- in order to allow them to do something about it.
    ——————————————

  113. I’ve been disabled for 2 weeks now too. I believe it is for adding too many friends. What kind of social networking site disables a user for adding friends? Isn’t that the point of social networking? I really dont understand why Facebook worries about that. Also, I dont understand why they dont respond to emails sent to them (I’ve sent emails to appeals, disabled, and info@facebook.com). Do they even have a right to disable an account on these grounds? I dont see anything in their TOS that states that adding friends is against the rules. Does anyone have any suggestion on how to get my facebook account back? Will a lawsuit help?

  114. I’ve been disabled for 2 weeks now too. I believe it is for adding too many friends. What kind of social networking site disables a user for adding friends? Isn’t that the point of social networking? I really dont understand why Facebook worries about that. Also, I dont understand why they dont respond to emails sent to them (I’ve sent emails to appeals, disabled, and info@facebook.com). Do they even have a right to disable an account on these grounds? I dont see anything in their TOS that states that adding friends is against the rules. Does anyone have any suggestion on how to get my facebook account back? Will a lawsuit help?

  115. Well adding friends is one thing, but they have to approve you too. There is that check on their end. I agree though. How can you network without saying hi to people?

  116. Well adding friends is one thing, but they have to approve you too. There is that check on their end. I agree though. How can you network without saying hi to people?

  117. hello i need help i tried to open an account on facebook using an email address that already existed with them which was my brother account…….so they took the email address and now my brother’s facebook account is no more we cant find it anywhere not even on his friends list we really want this account back and dont know how to get it….i did not know that only on email per account and they told me that but they took it anyway and now we cant find his account………..any advice…i email them have not gotton any responce yet how long does it take

  118. hello i need help i tried to open an account on facebook using an email address that already existed with them which was my brother account…….so they took the email address and now my brother’s facebook account is no more we cant find it anywhere not even on his friends list we really want this account back and dont know how to get it….i did not know that only on email per account and they told me that but they took it anyway and now we cant find his account………..any advice…i email them have not gotton any responce yet how long does it take

  119. I WAS RECENTLY DISABLED I ASKED WHAT THATS WHAT THEY SAID

    Hey, After reviewing your situation, we have determined that you violated our Terms of Use. Please note that nudity and other sexually explicit content is not allowed on the site. Additionally, we do not allow users to send messages that are sexually suggestive, or that other users may find harassing in nature. We will not be able to reactivate your account for any reason. This decision is final. Thanks for your understanding, JadaUser OperationsFacebook

  120. I WAS RECENTLY DISABLED I ASKED WHAT THATS WHAT THEY SAID

    Hey, After reviewing your situation, we have determined that you violated our Terms of Use. Please note that nudity and other sexually explicit content is not allowed on the site. Additionally, we do not allow users to send messages that are sexually suggestive, or that other users may find harassing in nature. We will not be able to reactivate your account for any reason. This decision is final. Thanks for your understanding, JadaUser OperationsFacebook

  121. ——————————————————————————–
    The Facebook Union

    Banned? Need help? Facebook not listening?

    Email: facebookunion [at] gmail [dot] com

    Thanks for reading!
    ——————————————————————————–

  122. ——————————————————————————–
    The Facebook Union

    Banned? Need help? Facebook not listening?

    Email: facebookunion [at] gmail [dot] com

    Thanks for reading!
    ——————————————————————————–

  123. i deleted a relative by mistake and dont know how to get her back , can anyone tell me . it says this person can no longer be invited by me .HELP.

  124. i deleted a relative by mistake and dont know how to get her back , can anyone tell me . it says this person can no longer be invited by me .HELP.

  125. My account was disabled 2 days ago. I’ve sent facebook 2 emails and still no response.

    Did I:
    -add new friends: NO (I’ve got 12 best and close friends on FB)
    -sent messages to strangers: NO
    -Used my real name: Yes
    -offensive/bad photos or anything at all: NO

    ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what did I do wrong.

  126. My account was disabled 2 days ago. I’ve sent facebook 2 emails and still no response.

    Did I:
    -add new friends: NO (I’ve got 12 best and close friends on FB)
    -sent messages to strangers: NO
    -Used my real name: Yes
    -offensive/bad photos or anything at all: NO

    ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what did I do wrong.

  127. Please Help assistance is required!

    My account of 18 months and 1500+ contacts was disabled on Facebook I assume for cutting and pasting some of the same responses to a few of the Real Estate Groups I belong to and for inviting people to Join my group of 500+ people on Facebook is the only possible reason I can figure since all I got back was an autoresponsder that just touts Misuse?”

    oh, I got an e-mail warning from them 2 hours AFTER they de-activated my account?

    So I was using Facebook and its own apps.

    I have e-mailed all the suggested addresses at facebook for 3 days now and got back one autoresponse is all and nothing more?

    Any ideas on How to Get my Acct Back?

    Would sending a certifed letter to FACEBOOK HELP

    FACE BOOK
    156 University AVE
    PALO ALOT CA 94301-1631

    Phone: 650-543-4800

  128. Please Help assistance is required!

    My account of 18 months and 1500+ contacts was disabled on Facebook I assume for cutting and pasting some of the same responses to a few of the Real Estate Groups I belong to and for inviting people to Join my group of 500+ people on Facebook is the only possible reason I can figure since all I got back was an autoresponsder that just touts Misuse?”

    oh, I got an e-mail warning from them 2 hours AFTER they de-activated my account?

    So I was using Facebook and its own apps.

    I have e-mailed all the suggested addresses at facebook for 3 days now and got back one autoresponse is all and nothing more?

    Any ideas on How to Get my Acct Back?

    Would sending a certifed letter to FACEBOOK HELP

    FACE BOOK
    156 University AVE
    PALO ALOT CA 94301-1631

    Phone: 650-543-4800

  129. So the long saga has come to an end, you are now part of the world, remember to accept my friend request… if you were not Scoble this should have never happened.

  130. So the long saga has come to an end, you are now part of the world, remember to accept my friend request… if you were not Scoble this should have never happened.

  131. I've received the following message when trying to log in for day:
    Account Unavailable
    Your account is temporarily unavailable due to site maintenance. It should be available again within a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.
    Can you please help me?

  132. Glad to see you are back on, Robert.

    I have to wonder if they would have reactivated anybody who was not as high profile as you are. Most businesses are slow this time of year, and it seemed awefully quick that you were given your account back.

  133. hi, my account has been disabled after several warnings that I didn't take into consideration. Could you provide me the email address of the support service in order to write them about my issue? thanks

    ps. is there any other way to get my account back???

  134. hi, my account has been disabled after several warnings that I didn't take into consideration. Could you provide me the email address of the support service in order to write them about my issue? thanks

    ps. is there any other way to get my account back???