Facebook screws iFart author

Facebook mat on 151 University

You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.

OK, I’m on the phone with Joel Comm right now. He’s been doing business online since 1995. He’s the co-creator of Yahoo Games. He wrote the Adsense Code, which got onto New York Times best selling list. He hosted and produced the first Internet reality show called the Next Internet Millionaire. He was the guy who came up with iFart, which got to be the #1 iPhone app on the iTunes store for three weeks. He also has “Twitter Power,” a book about Twitter coming out next month. You can find Joel on Twitter here.

Translation: he’s not a “nobody” on the Internet who is a spammer.

But, Facebook had a problem with him and kicked him off. Just like Facebook did to me just about a year ago. Why did this happen?

Well, he like me, has 4,999 friends which is the maximum allowed by Facebook. That’s not what got him in trouble. “So, Scoble, why you writing about him?”

Here’s why: he has 900 people who want to be his friend on Facebook. So, since he can’t add them to his social graph he sends them an a nice individual note, customized each time. He would look at each person’s profile and send them a nice note. What did the notes say? Something like “nice seeing you at XYZ conference, I can’t add you as a friend because Facebook doesn’t let me add more than 4,999 friends so could you please join me over on my fan page?” Sometimes also he’d send them over to his book page, or his Twitter page. Again, he customized each message to the person who was asking. Nothing automatic.

But yesterday Facebook disabled his account and removed his account from the public social graph. “I am the invisible man.” Facebook did exactly the same thing to me a year ago.

You still can get to his fan page, but he can’t administer it any longer (he has 734 fans). He also has a group on Facebook, which has more than 2,000 members. Fifty people have already joined a group to petition to have Joel added back to Facebook.

“So, why did they kick him off?” Because he triggered some sort of automatic alert that he was participating in spamming behavior.

“Did you get a warning,” I asked Comm.

“Yes. When we were sending the messages we got a warning and we stopped,” Comm says.

“Why did they kick you off then?” I asked.

“I don’t know, I stopped after they warned me. They kicked me off two days later. I have 900 people waiting to hear from me wondering why I’m ignoring them,” he told me.

“I try to log in now and it says my account is disabled. He sent them an inquiry and he got an email on January 22 at 1:42 p.m. Mountain Time. It says “Hi. The Facebook team has received your inquiries. We should get back to you soon. In the meantime, we encourage you to review our terms of use ( http://www.facebook.com/terms.php ). For more information. Thanks for contacting Facebook. — the Facebook team.”

Comm has no access to his photos. No access to his videos. No access to his wall posts. “I have no access, period,” he says. He wrote about the whole experience on his blog. I Googled his Facebook account and, right now, get a “Page Not Found” error. He has been “erased.”

I had almost the same experience a year ago and got more than 600 comments on that post. Every few days a new person leaves a sob story of getting kicked off of Facebook. I’ve complained about this quite a few times, including in public at SXSW when Mark Zuckerberg spoke at Facebook’s developer event there in 2008. I also have talked with Chris Putnam, head of Facebook’s video and security teams, as well as Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer. Each time they say they will look into it. Each time nothing happens and the account disabling continues.

My account was closed like Joel’s although Facebook reinstated my account within 24 hours. I answered my email just like Joel did. Nicely and calmly. But I always assumed that getting to the top of TechMeme and getting hundreds of blogs to talk about the event helped get me reinstated too.

Irony: He wrote a 30 page report on Facebook on how social networking can improve your business which was very positive about Facebook.

Comm, like me, says he’ll be back on Facebook if they reenable his account but warns that people will get tired of this kind of treatment. “You know what, I don’t need big brother watching me and I’ll go use another site.”

Get Satisfaction, a site where you can leave customer complains for companies, has an extensive thread on this issue.

I agree. I refuse to use Facebook to conduct business and don’t upload many videos or photos there because I don’t support companies that “erase” MY data without my permission. I know of no other social network that does this in this way.

“So, Scoble, how should Facebook keep from having spammers take over its site? What should it do if it finds a legitimate spammer?”

If I were in charge at Facebook I would have a “jail.” If you broke the rules I’d move your account into “jail.” Everyone would be able to get to it, although you might have an icon that indicates the account has been thrown into jail. I would also turn off certain features on the account. I would just turn off messaging, for instance, if that person was abusing messaging. Or, turn off his/her ability to write on wall posts if he’s abusing privileges there.

I would NEVER delete or erase data. That’s highly unethical and really stupid when you need the trust of your users. Right now Facebook can do no wrong. It is getting 450,000 new users a day. So, they don’t care. But what about in four years when growth slows down and people discover a better system? I bet that they will wish they paid more attention to those issues then (sort of like Microsoft wishes it paid more attention to being a nice citizen back in the 1990s because it would help them get a better search service going today).

This week at the World Economic Forum I expect I’ll be seeing several executives from Facebook (they told me they were going). I’ll bring this issue up again with them and see if they have a better answer than they’ve had to date.

What do you think?

Comments

  1. I can understand the “logic” behind kicking someone off the site, but I’m not sure why they don’t use one of their over-anal Ad reps who won’t let any ads get approved to manually look over these situations before they do stuff like this…

    FB is already turning off a lot of Internet Marketers from all walks of life… not something you want to do, since MARKETERS help spread “THE WORD” about your site, one way or another.

    Sure, there’s millions of Spammers, but I think with a little manual review – you can easily see the REALITY of what was going on in this situation.

  2. For supposedly being a “new” media company, Facebook has a bunch of really clueless policies. I removed my Facebook presence this week over the fact that the Facebook terms of use is one giant rights grab of anything published on the site.

  3. I can understand the “logic” behind kicking someone off the site, but I’m not sure why they don’t use one of their over-anal Ad reps who won’t let any ads get approved to manually look over these situations before they do stuff like this…

    FB is already turning off a lot of Internet Marketers from all walks of life… not something you want to do, since MARKETERS help spread “THE WORD” about your site, one way or another.

    Sure, there’s millions of Spammers, but I think with a little manual review – you can easily see the REALITY of what was going on in this situation.

  4. For supposedly being a “new” media company, Facebook has a bunch of really clueless policies. I removed my Facebook presence this week over the fact that the Facebook terms of use is one giant rights grab of anything published on the site.

  5. This is the problem: “It is getting 450,000 new users a day. So, they don’t care.”

    The only way to combat it, is to remember, there aren’t 200,000,000 nameless, faceless people running those decisions at Facebook (or other sites), and hold them accountable.

    If a guy with Joel’s track record (he built Yahoo Games and sold it to them before half the Facebook staff could drive), can get booted, everyone can!

    Why should people invest hours from a short life to be arbitrarily erased.
    This is ebayesque and grotesque.

  6. This is the problem: “It is getting 450,000 new users a day. So, they don’t care.”

    The only way to combat it, is to remember, there aren’t 200,000,000 nameless, faceless people running those decisions at Facebook (or other sites), and hold them accountable.

    If a guy with Joel’s track record (he built Yahoo Games and sold it to them before half the Facebook staff could drive), can get booted, everyone can!

    Why should people invest hours from a short life to be arbitrarily erased.
    This is ebayesque and grotesque.

  7. Absolutely amazing. Maybe they will start burning books next? The funny thing is that they are targeting the very people that make the service cool and aggregate impressive numbers of “friends”.

    I love your jail account idea. I think that concept would make a ton of sense not only at Facebook, but at all other services that can fall prey to spamming. Always with the good ideas Robert; now if someone would just implement it!

    @troymalone

  8. Absolutely amazing. Maybe they will start burning books next? The funny thing is that they are targeting the very people that make the service cool and aggregate impressive numbers of “friends”.

    I love your jail account idea. I think that concept would make a ton of sense not only at Facebook, but at all other services that can fall prey to spamming. Always with the good ideas Robert; now if someone would just implement it!

    @troymalone

  9. Hey Robert,

    This type of behavior is foolish and unnecessary. It’s not hard to do exactly what you proposed and it should have already been their policy in the first place.

    Facebook’s response to the alleged spamming is like responding to a fly with a Howitzer – you miss the target and just make a big hole. Unfortunately for facebook, the hole is in the credibility and more importantly the TRUST they’ve built up with their community.

    Keep asking questions and using the loudness of your crowd to wake them up!

  10. Hey Robert,

    This type of behavior is foolish and unnecessary. It’s not hard to do exactly what you proposed and it should have already been their policy in the first place.

    Facebook’s response to the alleged spamming is like responding to a fly with a Howitzer – you miss the target and just make a big hole. Unfortunately for facebook, the hole is in the credibility and more importantly the TRUST they’ve built up with their community.

    Keep asking questions and using the loudness of your crowd to wake them up!

  11. As someone who would hope to have 4,999 facebook friends one day, I find this alarming.

    Can you talk about various companies and the difference between your data going viral in a good way, and being taken?

  12. As someone who would hope to have 4,999 facebook friends one day, I find this alarming.

    Can you talk about various companies and the difference between your data going viral in a good way, and being taken?

  13. If Facebook is a social utility, they need to start acting like one. Of course, they’re not a utility. They’re a cloud party. And they can and do kick you in flash.

  14. thanks for the interview, Robert. Great piece that demonstrates how this can happen to anyone.

    Am I sweating it? Nah. There are plenty of other places I can go.

    Do I want my account reinstated? I think it’s the right thing to do, but I will be more cautious about recommending Facebook to my customers.

    The jail account is a superb idea. How hard would that be to implement?

  15. thanks for the interview, Robert. Great piece that demonstrates how this can happen to anyone.

    Am I sweating it? Nah. There are plenty of other places I can go.

    Do I want my account reinstated? I think it’s the right thing to do, but I will be more cautious about recommending Facebook to my customers.

    The jail account is a superb idea. How hard would that be to implement?

  16. If Facebook is a social utility, they need to start acting like one. Of course, they’re not a utility. They’re a cloud party. And they can and do kick you in flash.

  17. This is just silly. I may delete my own data on Facebook if this kind of thing keeps happening. It’s worse than the Twitter hard cap.

    Lee Stacey

    Don’t follow me, follow @tweepl.

  18. This is just silly. I may delete my own data on Facebook if this kind of thing keeps happening. It’s worse than the Twitter hard cap.

    Lee Stacey

    Don’t follow me, follow @tweepl.

  19. Obviously FB is banking some dough…

    Perhaps the people who are checking this kind of thing
    could check a little better. Especially when you look at
    the PRIOR activities, and the number of friends a person
    has, as you (the account evaluator) look into the “issue”.

    Be Well!
    ECS Dave

  20. Obviously FB is banking some dough…

    Perhaps the people who are checking this kind of thing
    could check a little better. Especially when you look at
    the PRIOR activities, and the number of friends a person
    has, as you (the account evaluator) look into the “issue”.

    Be Well!
    ECS Dave

  21. I am really appalled they did that to Joel! It’s people like him (well nobody’s like Joel Comm)….people who have really worked to make Facebook as popular as it is, who deserve praise, not shame!

    I think they should beg him to come back!

    Some “autobot” responder is just not cuttin’ it!

    He deserves an apology from the CEO and an engraved invitation to come back. Rediculous! I’m on his list and he NEVER spams!

    Geez!

  22. I am really appalled they did that to Joel! It’s people like him (well nobody’s like Joel Comm)….people who have really worked to make Facebook as popular as it is, who deserve praise, not shame!

    I think they should beg him to come back!

    Some “autobot” responder is just not cuttin’ it!

    He deserves an apology from the CEO and an engraved invitation to come back. Rediculous! I’m on his list and he NEVER spams!

    Geez!

  23. This is just another example of how trusting a bunch of services which you have no control over and are not paying leaves you little recourse when they do, as their terms of service allows them to do, whatever they want with your data.

    Most companies can “do no evil” up to a certain point, but when it becomes all about the dollar and not about the data, that goes out the window fast. Fair around personal data isn’t in the vocabulary of wall street investors or venture capitalists – your personal data is merely currency for which they can capitalize on.

    It’s obvious there are people with more than 4,999 friends. Why not charge for that? Or do something… anything… instead of cutting off and locking accounts out and deep-sixing data.

  24. I have never really understood why they have a 5000 friend limit to begin with. Just another reason not to work to hard to build up your profile on other people’s networks when it can be taken away in a second.

  25. I’m not an internet heavy weight like you or Joel, but one of the reasons I don’t use Facebook often or for my day job is that I haven’t found them reliable in several ways.

    I’m always running across a glitch, being drown with silly applications I could care less about or having so many apps to dig my way through I don’t have time. I am still in a discovery process with FaceBook and it hasn’t hit a home run with me yet, even though I know many like it. I also have to say that FaceBook DOES have a positive side to it, too & app’s that would be usual for me to learn.

    But seriously, I’m not in High School and if I’m poked, well, lets just say, I’d like to at least know his middle name. *grins* I mean, really, only FB can prevent FB STD’s. (I know … blonde humor *shrugs*)

  26. This is just another example of how trusting a bunch of services which you have no control over and are not paying leaves you little recourse when they do, as their terms of service allows them to do, whatever they want with your data.

    Most companies can “do no evil” up to a certain point, but when it becomes all about the dollar and not about the data, that goes out the window fast. Fair around personal data isn’t in the vocabulary of wall street investors or venture capitalists – your personal data is merely currency for which they can capitalize on.

    It’s obvious there are people with more than 4,999 friends. Why not charge for that? Or do something… anything… instead of cutting off and locking accounts out and deep-sixing data.

  27. I have never really understood why they have a 5000 friend limit to begin with. Just another reason not to work to hard to build up your profile on other people’s networks when it can be taken away in a second.

  28. I’m not an internet heavy weight like you or Joel, but one of the reasons I don’t use Facebook often or for my day job is that I haven’t found them reliable in several ways.

    I’m always running across a glitch, being drown with silly applications I could care less about or having so many apps to dig my way through I don’t have time. I am still in a discovery process with FaceBook and it hasn’t hit a home run with me yet, even though I know many like it. I also have to say that FaceBook DOES have a positive side to it, too & app’s that would be usual for me to learn.

    But seriously, I’m not in High School and if I’m poked, well, lets just say, I’d like to at least know his middle name. *grins* I mean, really, only FB can prevent FB STD’s. (I know … blonde humor *shrugs*)

  29. Facebook is not alone, I was kicked out of twitter because I have too much followers, damn, I really don’t believe it, but my account was shut down and labeled: “Sorry, the account you were headed to has been suspended due to strange activity. Mosey along now, nothing to see here”.

    I wrote to Twitter and 24 hours later my account was working but something strange is happening, because of that now I have a few hundred followers, now this people see me as a spammer or a twitter trafficker….. strange activity could mean a lot…. gang banging, drug dealing, smoking pipes or selling hotcakes….

  30. Facebook is not alone, I was kicked out of twitter because I have too much followers, damn, I really don’t believe it, but my account was shut down and labeled: “Sorry, the account you were headed to has been suspended due to strange activity. Mosey along now, nothing to see here”.

    I wrote to Twitter and 24 hours later my account was working but something strange is happening, because of that now I have a few hundred followers, now this people see me as a spammer or a twitter trafficker….. strange activity could mean a lot…. gang banging, drug dealing, smoking pipes or selling hotcakes….

  31. It’s a tough call. If they don’t have an automated system to prevent spam like activity, that would mean additional costs in R & D or staff to maintain the garden. But, there is clearly a problem and the evidence suggests the system doesn’t work and one wonders how strong their bottom line really is when companies know there is nothing to be gained from advertising there.

    Not sure of the solution, at this point I’m expecting Twitter and FriendFeed to eclipse Facebook by 2010. At that point, who cares?

  32. It’s a tough call. If they don’t have an automated system to prevent spam like activity, that would mean additional costs in R & D or staff to maintain the garden. But, there is clearly a problem and the evidence suggests the system doesn’t work and one wonders how strong their bottom line really is when companies know there is nothing to be gained from advertising there.

    Not sure of the solution, at this point I’m expecting Twitter and FriendFeed to eclipse Facebook by 2010. At that point, who cares?

  33. Facebook Jail – heehaw-larious! omgsh that’s too funny. and maybe a tiny tiny bit sad…

    lucky me i have 0 friends on facebook. I’m auspiciously the only 0 friends facebooger! : )

  34. Facebook Jail – heehaw-larious! omgsh that’s too funny. and maybe a tiny tiny bit sad…

    lucky me i have 0 friends on facebook. I’m auspiciously the only 0 friends facebooger! : )

  35. Dudes! Facebook is free. If you want something permanent then do it yourself. So you can control the variables. You sound like such a little whiner.

  36. Dudes! Facebook is free. If you want something permanent then do it yourself. So you can control the variables. You sound like such a little whiner.

  37. This is why I prefer to host my content on my own site rather than give those reigns to someone with some commercial or screwed up agenda. Even if it means slower access to it sometimes. I can’t trust they’ll always make the right decision and do no evil.

  38. This is why I prefer to host my content on my own site rather than give those reigns to someone with some commercial or screwed up agenda. Even if it means slower access to it sometimes. I can’t trust they’ll always make the right decision and do no evil.

  39. Nice post. Great idea about Facebook jail. They can’t do it now unless they contribute to the Scobleizer fund.

    Honestly, this will not effect a thing. Facebook is growing faster than they can apparently handle. Facebook’s fate is already known. Someone will come along with something new, better and will allow you to import your Facebook info, pics and video. A few years later Facebook will be sold to Microsoft. Is that day 2 years from now? 5?

    They should work as though they will be gone in 5 years – get every dime – explore every good idea – and honestly don’t spend too long on the little things.

  40. Nice post. Great idea about Facebook jail. They can’t do it now unless they contribute to the Scobleizer fund.

    Honestly, this will not effect a thing. Facebook is growing faster than they can apparently handle. Facebook’s fate is already known. Someone will come along with something new, better and will allow you to import your Facebook info, pics and video. A few years later Facebook will be sold to Microsoft. Is that day 2 years from now? 5?

    They should work as though they will be gone in 5 years – get every dime – explore every good idea – and honestly don’t spend too long on the little things.

  41. I’m with you John… Jail what a great concept.

    Capital punishment always seems so final and it leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

    But Jail well , you can do no more harm and if your not guilty hey no hard feelings Bro

  42. I’m with you John… Jail what a great concept.

    Capital punishment always seems so final and it leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

    But Jail well , you can do no more harm and if your not guilty hey no hard feelings Bro

  43. So does Facebook have such an essential role that people actually NEED to use them? I know that they are quite popular, but it’s not like twitter that is a truly essential element in social networking. The attitude they have will make people angry, but given how large their user base is, they can, for now, afford to have an attitude like that and not worry about it.

  44. So does Facebook have such an essential role that people actually NEED to use them? I know that they are quite popular, but it’s not like twitter that is a truly essential element in social networking. The attitude they have will make people angry, but given how large their user base is, they can, for now, afford to have an attitude like that and not worry about it.

  45. It happened to m for replying to friend requests, I’m at about 3,000, and they consider it spam… then told me I couldn’t use my legally changed lastname, I dealt with a human, who understood, although it was a lenghthy process they put me back up… the next day they wanted one of my videos down, iwas given the music by the band… they put it back up… just fyi

  46. It happened to m for replying to friend requests, I’m at about 3,000, and they consider it spam… then told me I couldn’t use my legally changed lastname, I dealt with a human, who understood, although it was a lenghthy process they put me back up… the next day they wanted one of my videos down, iwas given the music by the band… they put it back up… just fyi

  47. Facebook is a nice toy, as far as I’m concerned, but the whole walled-garden approach is going to kill them eventually. They don’t want to play nice with other services, which functionally makes them useless, as far as I am concerned. In fact, most of the people I talk to feel the same. For business, there are other tools.

    However, for some people, like Joel Comm, Facebook can be a place to conduct business. It’s unfortunate that precisely the people who are in the best position to forward Facebook in a business context are those who are being treated worst by Facebook.

  48. Facebook is a nice toy, as far as I’m concerned, but the whole walled-garden approach is going to kill them eventually. They don’t want to play nice with other services, which functionally makes them useless, as far as I am concerned. In fact, most of the people I talk to feel the same. For business, there are other tools.

    However, for some people, like Joel Comm, Facebook can be a place to conduct business. It’s unfortunate that precisely the people who are in the best position to forward Facebook in a business context are those who are being treated worst by Facebook.

  49. This is the guy that SPAMMED me by sending me pro-McCain pitches!

    Screw Joel Comm! He’s an internet marketing spammer and a McCain shill!

  50. This is the guy that SPAMMED me by sending me pro-McCain pitches!

    Screw Joel Comm! He’s an internet marketing spammer and a McCain shill!

  51. I got my account disabled a few days ago. I am not sure of the reason as of yet. There was no warning at all. I think it was because I was looking at somebody’s public profile and sent them a message with regards to something sociopolitical they wrote on the profile. It was completely harmless and written in a friendly manner but they took offense to my opinion. They could have just blocked me or ignored me or even better – set their profile to private if they don’t want people looking at it.

    Frankly, I have always thought the idea of trusting a single company with what is now an essential service (social networking) is blatantly ridiculous. Facebook is just ushering in its own demise with such policies. Ultimately an open protocol will be used that allows the user to set their own rules and control their own data.

  52. I got my account disabled a few days ago. I am not sure of the reason as of yet. There was no warning at all. I think it was because I was looking at somebody’s public profile and sent them a message with regards to something sociopolitical they wrote on the profile. It was completely harmless and written in a friendly manner but they took offense to my opinion. They could have just blocked me or ignored me or even better – set their profile to private if they don’t want people looking at it.

    Frankly, I have always thought the idea of trusting a single company with what is now an essential service (social networking) is blatantly ridiculous. Facebook is just ushering in its own demise with such policies. Ultimately an open protocol will be used that allows the user to set their own rules and control their own data.

  53. umm….
    Mr Scobelizer sir…

    You gotta typo:
    “…he sends them an a nice individual note…”

    Yes I know I’m a pest.
    Sorry.
    I’m on medication already.
    ; )

    Oh and one more thing…
    …don’t forget: “Omnia Vanitas”

    I know it seems hard to believe but the world won’t end despite the diabolical silencing of Joel Comm by the evil and all powerful facebook.

    For most of us good ole’ everyday folk, the kind facebook was designed for, the kind that don’t worry about the limitations because we will never ever reach, or even get close to them, the kind that use facebook for what it was intended – networking with FRIENDS (does anyone really believe you can have 4999 of those?) none of this really matters much.

    If your on the social web to make a noise and promote yourself or your crap – go ahead have a ball. I ain’t gonna stand in your way – god knows I’m guilty of the same sins.

    If you’re good at it – kudos. Write a book. Hell, I might buy it.

    My only reservation is: Don’t come crying to momma (or Robert Scoble) when the services you’re MANIPULATING for you’re own private gain shut you down. They were never designed for what you are doing and they have every right to protect themselves from people like you.

    Joel Comm may have written a positive review of facebook.
    Good for him.
    Do they owe him anything?
    Let’s say all of his 4,999 friends + 900 in waiting joined facebook because of him – that makes Joel responsible for 5,899/120,000,000 percent (0.000045) of facebook’s community. Let him take his friends and start his own little playground. If he sens me an invite I promise I’ll join – he looks like a helluva person to know.

    Don’t get me wrong – I commiserate – I just don’t think this is the drama you are playing it up to be, and from what you share of Joel Comm’s impressive biography, I doubt he really does either…

    : )
    Cheers,
    Mike
    I tweet @pop_art

  54. umm….
    Mr Scobelizer sir…

    You gotta typo:
    “…he sends them an a nice individual note…”

    Yes I know I’m a pest.
    Sorry.
    I’m on medication already.
    ; )

    Oh and one more thing…
    …don’t forget: “Omnia Vanitas”

    I know it seems hard to believe but the world won’t end despite the diabolical silencing of Joel Comm by the evil and all powerful facebook.

    For most of us good ole’ everyday folk, the kind facebook was designed for, the kind that don’t worry about the limitations because we will never ever reach, or even get close to them, the kind that use facebook for what it was intended – networking with FRIENDS (does anyone really believe you can have 4999 of those?) none of this really matters much.

    If your on the social web to make a noise and promote yourself or your crap – go ahead have a ball. I ain’t gonna stand in your way – god knows I’m guilty of the same sins.

    If you’re good at it – kudos. Write a book. Hell, I might buy it.

    My only reservation is: Don’t come crying to momma (or Robert Scoble) when the services you’re MANIPULATING for you’re own private gain shut you down. They were never designed for what you are doing and they have every right to protect themselves from people like you.

    Joel Comm may have written a positive review of facebook.
    Good for him.
    Do they owe him anything?
    Let’s say all of his 4,999 friends + 900 in waiting joined facebook because of him – that makes Joel responsible for 5,899/120,000,000 percent (0.000045) of facebook’s community. Let him take his friends and start his own little playground. If he sens me an invite I promise I’ll join – he looks like a helluva person to know.

    Don’t get me wrong – I commiserate – I just don’t think this is the drama you are playing it up to be, and from what you share of Joel Comm’s impressive biography, I doubt he really does either…

    : )
    Cheers,
    Mike
    I tweet @pop_art

  55. hmmm, I was also temporarily disabled after being a bit to eager in getting some info out on top of plain wall to wall interaction. But this deal with Joel is ridiculous and bordering on some form of denial of free speech. And to think that he was promoting FB, hmm, they should be paying him for being so good at what they are trying to achieve.

  56. hmmm, I was also temporarily disabled after being a bit to eager in getting some info out on top of plain wall to wall interaction. But this deal with Joel is ridiculous and bordering on some form of denial of free speech. And to think that he was promoting FB, hmm, they should be paying him for being so good at what they are trying to achieve.

  57. Ano: the account has been disabled and no one can see the data. So, for all intents and purposes it has been erased. Of course we both know the data is still on a hard drive at Facebook somewhere and when they want to “unerase” you they can.

  58. Ano: the account has been disabled and no one can see the data. So, for all intents and purposes it has been erased. Of course we both know the data is still on a hard drive at Facebook somewhere and when they want to “unerase” you they can.

  59. this is just insane!!!
    i think you should adress this to the facebook guys in Davos and keep us updated. There needs to be a solution for this cause it can happen to all of us (well when i will ever get as many followers or facebook friends)

  60. this is just insane!!!
    i think you should adress this to the facebook guys in Davos and keep us updated. There needs to be a solution for this cause it can happen to all of us (well when i will ever get as many followers or facebook friends)

  61. That’s a good question…

    A wee bit of background

    I started becoming a social animal in my early twenties (I am 35 now) – I was a club promoter and I spent my days walking the streets of Jerusalem, touting my parties, and flirting with chicks. It was a good life : )

    I always pride myself that I knew at least a few rudimentary facts about the people I was inviting – their names, whether they had a girl/boyfriend, when was the last time they had come to my club, what they liked to drink, what they liked to hear, where they worked, etc.

    This aggregation of data and my ability to retrieve it was what allowed me to define them as my friends. When I could no longer contain and process the info I realized I had exceeded my capacity for friendship. It went downhill from there.

    After a few years my relationships with my friends – the people I was inviting to my parties had become entirely 2 dimensional: “HI :)) GREAT SEEING YA :o) YOUS’ COMING FRIDAY RIGHT?”

    We all know the type… I made myself sick. This wasn’t why I got into the business. This wasn’t me. I’d sold out & I knew it. So I left.

    I’ll say this much in my defense – two weeks ago A FRIEND from back then found me on Twitter. Her remembered me as Mike from Club ____ & I remembered him, including who his posse was, what he liked to listen to, and where his business was located.

    I know this isn’t a exactly an answer to your question but I think it serves to explain why, in my humble opinion you can’t have THOUSANDS of them…
    I know.
    I tried.

    IF:
    1. You feel you are able to retrieve a fair deal of personal data about THOUSANDS of other people (without relying on anything but your memory).
    2. You are motivated to care & BE NICE to these people & you do something for them ever so often.
    3. These people reciprocate.

    I stand corrected and you are a better person than I am
    : )

    mike
    “I tweet @pop_art”

  62. That’s a good question…

    A wee bit of background

    I started becoming a social animal in my early twenties (I am 35 now) – I was a club promoter and I spent my days walking the streets of Jerusalem, touting my parties, and flirting with chicks. It was a good life : )

    I always pride myself that I knew at least a few rudimentary facts about the people I was inviting – their names, whether they had a girl/boyfriend, when was the last time they had come to my club, what they liked to drink, what they liked to hear, where they worked, etc.

    This aggregation of data and my ability to retrieve it was what allowed me to define them as my friends. When I could no longer contain and process the info I realized I had exceeded my capacity for friendship. It went downhill from there.

    After a few years my relationships with my friends – the people I was inviting to my parties had become entirely 2 dimensional: “HI :)) GREAT SEEING YA :o) YOUS’ COMING FRIDAY RIGHT?”

    We all know the type… I made myself sick. This wasn’t why I got into the business. This wasn’t me. I’d sold out & I knew it. So I left.

    I’ll say this much in my defense – two weeks ago A FRIEND from back then found me on Twitter. Her remembered me as Mike from Club ____ & I remembered him, including who his posse was, what he liked to listen to, and where his business was located.

    I know this isn’t a exactly an answer to your question but I think it serves to explain why, in my humble opinion you can’t have THOUSANDS of them…
    I know.
    I tried.

    IF:
    1. You feel you are able to retrieve a fair deal of personal data about THOUSANDS of other people (without relying on anything but your memory).
    2. You are motivated to care & BE NICE to these people & you do something for them ever so often.
    3. These people reciprocate.

    I stand corrected and you are a better person than I am
    : )

    mike
    “I tweet @pop_art”

  63. yeah – i got warning the other day – i dont seem to do anything that i dont see others doing – facebook’s issue is there is no FACE behind support – only machines

  64. yeah – i got warning the other day – i dont seem to do anything that i dont see others doing – facebook’s issue is there is no FACE behind support – only machines

  65. Facebooks Löschaktionen…

    Das ist genau der Grund, warum man eben nicht auf social networks vertrauen darf. Ist man nicht Herr seiner Daten muss man damit rechnen, den Zugang zu ihnen zu verlieren. Die betroffenen hätten auf Dirks Bedenken hören sollen.

    Wobei ich das noch…

  66. Mike: I agree with you. Really knowing people well at scale isn’t possible. I figure you can really know a bit about 1,000 people. I’d even say 300 if you want to know quite a bit of info.

    I ask because many people define a friend as someone they’ve met. I have about 10,000 business cards now and I’ve met many more. Out of the 5,000 Facebook friends I have I can actually tell you something about 2,000 of them.

    But, still, that’s 2,000. Your original point isn’t very valid, by the way. Go read the 600 comments. Most of the people who get kicked off of Facebook aren’t “whales” like me and Comm (that’s what Facebook calls people who have 5,000 friends or more). Most people who get kicked off have far fewer friends than that.

  67. Mike: I agree with you. Really knowing people well at scale isn’t possible. I figure you can really know a bit about 1,000 people. I’d even say 300 if you want to know quite a bit of info.

    I ask because many people define a friend as someone they’ve met. I have about 10,000 business cards now and I’ve met many more. Out of the 5,000 Facebook friends I have I can actually tell you something about 2,000 of them.

    But, still, that’s 2,000. Your original point isn’t very valid, by the way. Go read the 600 comments. Most of the people who get kicked off of Facebook aren’t “whales” like me and Comm (that’s what Facebook calls people who have 5,000 friends or more). Most people who get kicked off have far fewer friends than that.

  68. I have a feeling that facebook is creating a future PR nightmare here. Reading one of the posts from that getsatisfaction website:

    “I am going through a tough time at the moment and to have that contact with people ripped away without even an explanation is SO upsetting. ”

    For some people, contact with others is all that gets them through the day. Ripping this away with no warning is disgusting.

  69. I have a feeling that facebook is creating a future PR nightmare here. Reading one of the posts from that getsatisfaction website:

    “I am going through a tough time at the moment and to have that contact with people ripped away without even an explanation is SO upsetting. ”

    For some people, contact with others is all that gets them through the day. Ripping this away with no warning is disgusting.

  70. Hate to differ, since any kind of mindless censorship is abhorant. I skipped over to Joel’s fan page after reading this article, with the intention of becoming a fan and posting a supporting message.

    So I read hi recent fans posts. Its all marketing and totally insulted my intelligence. So, no new fan here. Quite the opposite.

    BTW, withut seeing the detail I think it is hard to pass judgement on his treatment by Facebook. Especially sine I ACTUALLY READ some of his adverts, oops, wall posts.

  71. Hate to differ, since any kind of mindless censorship is abhorant. I skipped over to Joel’s fan page after reading this article, with the intention of becoming a fan and posting a supporting message.

    So I read hi recent fans posts. Its all marketing and totally insulted my intelligence. So, no new fan here. Quite the opposite.

    BTW, withut seeing the detail I think it is hard to pass judgement on his treatment by Facebook. Especially sine I ACTUALLY READ some of his adverts, oops, wall posts.

  72. No one on earth has over 5000 friends let alone being able to manage 5000 individual relationships. Your latest post is yet another reminder why I stopped reading your blog on a regular basis. This blog is full of nonsense and self-promotional babble of someone that lost track of the big picture and is going downhill very fast.

  73. No one on earth has over 5000 friends let alone being able to manage 5000 individual relationships. Your latest post is yet another reminder why I stopped reading your blog on a regular basis. This blog is full of nonsense and self-promotional babble of someone that lost track of the big picture and is going downhill very fast.

  74. Seriously the amount of control that Facebook is exercising over your social contacts is unreal. Try deactivating your account manually for a week.

    Make a note of anything you miss.

    The web should be open, and the sooner this happens the better.

  75. Seriously the amount of control that Facebook is exercising over your social contacts is unreal. Try deactivating your account manually for a week.

    Make a note of anything you miss.

    The web should be open, and the sooner this happens the better.

  76. This is why Facebook needs to bring back Whopper Sacrifice… so people like Comm can sacrifice friends, add new ones, not get their accounts disabled, and get a whopper in the process. Because who is really friends with 4,999 people?

  77. This is why Facebook needs to bring back Whopper Sacrifice… so people like Comm can sacrifice friends, add new ones, not get their accounts disabled, and get a whopper in the process. Because who is really friends with 4,999 people?

  78. Facebook is playing by some antiquated set of rules that only they understand.

    They’re anti-user, going by their draconian user admin policies.

    They’re anti-advertiser, going by their arbitrary rejection of facebook ads.

    If you’re rejecting users and sponsors, erm, who’s left?
    Maybe they’re only beholden to the powers that be?

    Meh.

  79. Facebook is playing by some antiquated set of rules that only they understand.

    They’re anti-user, going by their draconian user admin policies.

    They’re anti-advertiser, going by their arbitrary rejection of facebook ads.

    If you’re rejecting users and sponsors, erm, who’s left?
    Maybe they’re only beholden to the powers that be?

    Meh.

  80. What We really need is a Social Media Extender, If I register to Facebook or Whatever media service, everytime I upload everything to this service the real data stay at my own host, so facebook only see the direct link of my photos and videos or any agreement that the whole data belongs to me and I can take it away just when I need it, Facebook and others are doing business with your persona data, placing ads along your profile and you don’t receive any penny….. So I won’t call to boycott Facebook, What I recommend you is to STOP the craziness about those So Call Social Media, they are Social Business and We ARE what they sell (a tool).

  81. What We really need is a Social Media Extender, If I register to Facebook or Whatever media service, everytime I upload everything to this service the real data stay at my own host, so facebook only see the direct link of my photos and videos or any agreement that the whole data belongs to me and I can take it away just when I need it, Facebook and others are doing business with your persona data, placing ads along your profile and you don’t receive any penny….. So I won’t call to boycott Facebook, What I recommend you is to STOP the craziness about those So Call Social Media, they are Social Business and We ARE what they sell (a tool).

  82. Consider this: Barack Obama’s campaign has successfully used (and continues to use) Facebook to communicate with millions of supporters, and his campaign has not been kicked off or disabled. If you’re failing to use Facebook to communicate with a menial fraction of that number of people, you’re doing something wrong.

    What are you doing wrong?

    You’re blurring the lines between friends, family, business associates, supporters, enemies, and strangers (and more). That these relationships are different from each other is real and has definite influence on how you interact differently with each group of people. Because you fail to acknowledge the distinctions between these relationships doesn’t mean that they all the same, or aren’t shaping your behaviour. However, Facebook consistently chooses to acknowledge that it’s trying to help you stay in close contact with just your friends.

    Facebook has no idea what a friend is to you, so you also get to keep in close contact with anyone else by connecting to them within the friend graph. You get to define “friend” on your own terms. But Facebook also knows that you can’t possibly scale “friend” to many thousands of people. Human attention is not that deep or wide. So, once you get to a certain machine threshold, like making 4999 friend connections or sending hundreds of personal messages, they cut you off, because you’re doing something that they didn’t intend to help you do … you’re abusing the system.

    Facebook has extended a large olive branch to people who want to conduct more casual and business-type dealings through the site. Instead of communicating via personal accounts, along the friend graph, you can communicate with “fans” through fan pages. You can create applications that communicate to the people who install it and their friends. You can make your application pages as rich, interactive, and lucrative as you want. But if you want to use the friend graph, it’s best to stick to using it for the purpose of keeping in touch with just your friends.

    Facebook is old and settled territory now. The users are not shaping its behaviour anymore. It’s a managed business, and it has some clear rights and responsibilities to set and enforce its own rules and limits. If you think those rules and limits prohibit you from using Facebook to your liking, then you’re free to move along to something else. However, know that people who have much bigger fan bases, and much bigger causes, have looked at Facebook, asked if we can use it maintain a one-to-millions relationship, and answered, “Yes We Can.”

    I have to step aside here to make note that I do support the notion that people should be able to regain possession of their own content when a service blocks their access. Taking people’s content from them is an old and busted practice, even if they’re abusing the system in other ways. Caveat emptor, I guess, until we can figure out a solid, legal way to express the ownership and access rights to content posted to web services. Maybe a best practice for Facebook users is to generate and save content on their own machines before posting it to Facebook.

  83. Consider this: Barack Obama’s campaign has successfully used (and continues to use) Facebook to communicate with millions of supporters, and his campaign has not been kicked off or disabled. If you’re failing to use Facebook to communicate with a menial fraction of that number of people, you’re doing something wrong.

    What are you doing wrong?

    You’re blurring the lines between friends, family, business associates, supporters, enemies, and strangers (and more). That these relationships are different from each other is real and has definite influence on how you interact differently with each group of people. Because you fail to acknowledge the distinctions between these relationships doesn’t mean that they all the same, or aren’t shaping your behaviour. However, Facebook consistently chooses to acknowledge that it’s trying to help you stay in close contact with just your friends.

    Facebook has no idea what a friend is to you, so you also get to keep in close contact with anyone else by connecting to them within the friend graph. You get to define “friend” on your own terms. But Facebook also knows that you can’t possibly scale “friend” to many thousands of people. Human attention is not that deep or wide. So, once you get to a certain machine threshold, like making 4999 friend connections or sending hundreds of personal messages, they cut you off, because you’re doing something that they didn’t intend to help you do … you’re abusing the system.

    Facebook has extended a large olive branch to people who want to conduct more casual and business-type dealings through the site. Instead of communicating via personal accounts, along the friend graph, you can communicate with “fans” through fan pages. You can create applications that communicate to the people who install it and their friends. You can make your application pages as rich, interactive, and lucrative as you want. But if you want to use the friend graph, it’s best to stick to using it for the purpose of keeping in touch with just your friends.

    Facebook is old and settled territory now. The users are not shaping its behaviour anymore. It’s a managed business, and it has some clear rights and responsibilities to set and enforce its own rules and limits. If you think those rules and limits prohibit you from using Facebook to your liking, then you’re free to move along to something else. However, know that people who have much bigger fan bases, and much bigger causes, have looked at Facebook, asked if we can use it maintain a one-to-millions relationship, and answered, “Yes We Can.”

    I have to step aside here to make note that I do support the notion that people should be able to regain possession of their own content when a service blocks their access. Taking people’s content from them is an old and busted practice, even if they’re abusing the system in other ways. Caveat emptor, I guess, until we can figure out a solid, legal way to express the ownership and access rights to content posted to web services. Maybe a best practice for Facebook users is to generate and save content on their own machines before posting it to Facebook.

  84. MySpace does it as well. At one point I had the largest blog on the site with over two million page views in a year, 5,000+ subscribers, and over 20K friends. I wrote a comedy blog and apparently people complained about my content but the straw that broke the camels back was another blogger that didn’t like me made up some phony story to get me deleted.

    Want to know why I knew it was so easy? Because I turned around and did it to him twice, he probably was still in the same ballpark numbers wise as I was.

  85. MySpace does it as well. At one point I had the largest blog on the site with over two million page views in a year, 5,000+ subscribers, and over 20K friends. I wrote a comedy blog and apparently people complained about my content but the straw that broke the camels back was another blogger that didn’t like me made up some phony story to get me deleted.

    Want to know why I knew it was so easy? Because I turned around and did it to him twice, he probably was still in the same ballpark numbers wise as I was.

  86. I like the jail idea. Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200. Facebook, we don’t want you turn into the big bad bully. Get your act together.

  87. I like the jail idea. Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200. Facebook, we don’t want you turn into the big bad bully. Get your act together.

  88. Read Facebook’s Terms of Service – whatever you upload to their site becomes *their* data. And by signing up and clicking “yes I agree” you, well, agree to it.

    Do I think it’s wrong and it sucks? Yes. But they’ve covered their ass well. If it’s their data, they can do what they like with it.

    I haven;t signed up and I’m not going to. If people cannot be bothered to find and connect with me via any other means than Facebook, well I don’t know what to tell them. (They certainly aren’t friends.)

  89. Read Facebook’s Terms of Service – whatever you upload to their site becomes *their* data. And by signing up and clicking “yes I agree” you, well, agree to it.

    Do I think it’s wrong and it sucks? Yes. But they’ve covered their ass well. If it’s their data, they can do what they like with it.

    I haven;t signed up and I’m not going to. If people cannot be bothered to find and connect with me via any other means than Facebook, well I don’t know what to tell them. (They certainly aren’t friends.)

  90. Frankly, many times it seems Facebook is too lax about permitting spammers to flood my inbox with such requests. It’s nothing i’d take the time to blog, let alone read about from such a large and apparently easily-enflamed blogger presence. Include your mobile carrier, utilities provider and most large companies catering to a million plus customer base, in the unattentive customer service group. I myself am guilty of the ‘blogger rant’, but it seems too frequent these days nonetheless.

    Respectfully, Red

  91. Frankly, many times it seems Facebook is too lax about permitting spammers to flood my inbox with such requests. It’s nothing i’d take the time to blog, let alone read about from such a large and apparently easily-enflamed blogger presence. Include your mobile carrier, utilities provider and most large companies catering to a million plus customer base, in the unattentive customer service group. I myself am guilty of the ‘blogger rant’, but it seems too frequent these days nonetheless.

    Respectfully, Red

  92. This is exactly why I stopped spending a great deal of time using Facebook. No control over your own data and input, and FB can decide to delete you when ever they want.
    If I have to decide how to allocate my time building my network and connecting with people, Twitter, Friendfeed and my own blog get the advantage over Facebook, because I control the data much more than there.

  93. This is exactly why I stopped spending a great deal of time using Facebook. No control over your own data and input, and FB can decide to delete you when ever they want.
    If I have to decide how to allocate my time building my network and connecting with people, Twitter, Friendfeed and my own blog get the advantage over Facebook, because I control the data much more than there.

  94. So, tell me once again: exactly how is Facebook in ’09 any different from AOL in ’95? Take any of the AOL chat room/IM/email/member directory complaints from the 90′s and with light editing you could publish them about FB today. They are on exactly the same arc, without the value add of providing internet access.

  95. The “jail” idea is great and a much better solution. I can’t see the logic in what Facebook is doing. It will damage their reputation in the long-run and people will seek out other social networks that are more liberal.

  96. So, tell me once again: exactly how is Facebook in ’09 any different from AOL in ’95? Take any of the AOL chat room/IM/email/member directory complaints from the 90′s and with light editing you could publish them about FB today. They are on exactly the same arc, without the value add of providing internet access.

  97. The “jail” idea is great and a much better solution. I can’t see the logic in what Facebook is doing. It will damage their reputation in the long-run and people will seek out other social networks that are more liberal.

  98. Come on, no one has over 5,000 friends! Facebook started off as a college-networking website and then expanded to include high schools and now is just open freely. However, the roots are still there. Honestly, the friend limit should be 500, not 5000…Anyone with more friends than that needs to have a fan page. If you started off by not reading the terms of use which clearly state there is a friend maximum, then it’s your own fault that everyone tries to add your friend page and not your fan page.

  99. Come on, no one has over 5,000 friends! Facebook started off as a college-networking website and then expanded to include high schools and now is just open freely. However, the roots are still there. Honestly, the friend limit should be 500, not 5000…Anyone with more friends than that needs to have a fan page. If you started off by not reading the terms of use which clearly state there is a friend maximum, then it’s your own fault that everyone tries to add your friend page and not your fan page.

  100. Thanks Robert.

    I agree with your suggestions, and believe this scenario should create hesitation, especially for organizations that are just breaking into SN. (I actually see you and Joel as examples of individuals that are organizations/entities).

    Businesses take great time and money in making a SN leap, and need confidence that the tool understands and is equipped to handle successful users that are not abusers. It would be wise for Facebook to choose to understand and care take (everyone yes, but especially) this market.

  101. Thanks Robert.

    I agree with your suggestions, and believe this scenario should create hesitation, especially for organizations that are just breaking into SN. (I actually see you and Joel as examples of individuals that are organizations/entities).

    Businesses take great time and money in making a SN leap, and need confidence that the tool understands and is equipped to handle successful users that are not abusers. It would be wise for Facebook to choose to understand and care take (everyone yes, but especially) this market.

  102. There is a thin line between “getting the word out,” “online marketing,” and “spam.” One person’s online marketing may be another person’s spam, and that’s the problem with Facebook. But it’s the problem with every social networking site as we figure out how to re-live our lives in this new era of transparency.

    Even if you are careful to offer only useful information to people who have opted to be your “friend,” it’s easy to violate the unwritten conventions. It’s worse if you follow back the people who follow you on Twitter, or friend people on Facebook. I like to meet new people online, so I am always having the problem of inadvertantly friending a spammer whom I later have to block or delete.

    This new world is going to be tricky for journalists, who want to do a better job by making themselves available to sources, or who want a personal life in addition to their professional life. It is also going to be tricky for incubators like me, who communicate things their companies are doing for a variety of reasons. In my other role, advocate for social change, it’s also tricky. And It will certainly be tricky for PR people, and for internet marketers.

    We are in an age of transition, and the rules are hard to know and even harder to follow. Although those of us who were early into social media keep advising people to listen before they jump in, so they can at least sense what the boundaries are, people on various platforms (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube) are always violating conventions they didn’t know existed.

  103. There is a thin line between “getting the word out,” “online marketing,” and “spam.” One person’s online marketing may be another person’s spam, and that’s the problem with Facebook. But it’s the problem with every social networking site as we figure out how to re-live our lives in this new era of transparency.

    Even if you are careful to offer only useful information to people who have opted to be your “friend,” it’s easy to violate the unwritten conventions. It’s worse if you follow back the people who follow you on Twitter, or friend people on Facebook. I like to meet new people online, so I am always having the problem of inadvertantly friending a spammer whom I later have to block or delete.

    This new world is going to be tricky for journalists, who want to do a better job by making themselves available to sources, or who want a personal life in addition to their professional life. It is also going to be tricky for incubators like me, who communicate things their companies are doing for a variety of reasons. In my other role, advocate for social change, it’s also tricky. And It will certainly be tricky for PR people, and for internet marketers.

    We are in an age of transition, and the rules are hard to know and even harder to follow. Although those of us who were early into social media keep advising people to listen before they jump in, so they can at least sense what the boundaries are, people on various platforms (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube) are always violating conventions they didn’t know existed.

  104. So Scoble…let’s get Joel and a group of us together and create a site that’s better than facebook. One that’s more stable (that’s a big issue) and one that’s not biased. What’s Obama’s friend count on there now? Like 4,000,000? Yes, he’s President but that also means he’s an American and facebook being an American company should open up the gates and let the people in.

    Their censorship policies are ludicrous, their advertising rules are crap and basically they need a wakeup call from people who don’t want to take this anymore. It’s 2009, you can’t be unsocial in social media and expect to get away with it.

    So…anyone else out there feeling an urge? Know anyone else who’s been hosed by the kids running facebook?

    If so…am open to some suggestions and right now am looking at forming a team to make a bump in the road big enough for them to take notice of.

    Michael Murdock, CEO
    ceo@docmurdock.com

  105. So Scoble…let’s get Joel and a group of us together and create a site that’s better than facebook. One that’s more stable (that’s a big issue) and one that’s not biased. What’s Obama’s friend count on there now? Like 4,000,000? Yes, he’s President but that also means he’s an American and facebook being an American company should open up the gates and let the people in.

    Their censorship policies are ludicrous, their advertising rules are crap and basically they need a wakeup call from people who don’t want to take this anymore. It’s 2009, you can’t be unsocial in social media and expect to get away with it.

    So…anyone else out there feeling an urge? Know anyone else who’s been hosed by the kids running facebook?

    If so…am open to some suggestions and right now am looking at forming a team to make a bump in the road big enough for them to take notice of.

    Michael Murdock, CEO
    ceo@docmurdock.com

  106. Robert, it may be that most of the people who are kicked off of Facebook aren’t whales, but then again most people who are on Facebook aren’t whales either. In any case, it only seems newsworthy when the people kicked off are social media celebrities, and those do tend to be whales.

    My question: whatever online “friends” are supposed to mean, does it really make sense for someone to have thousands of them? Isn’t there a better metaphor, for such a 1-to-many relationship? Perhaps a big part of the problem is that people are trying to build subscription / fan-club services on a platform really designed for 1-to-1 social networking.

    Not defending Facebook here–they should be transparent like any other business. But I do wonder if the people who have run afoul of its policies are pushing the limits of its design / intention.

    My own take on this space:

    http://thenoisychannel.com/2009/01/02/an-attention-ponzi-scheme/

    I focus on Twitter rather than Facebook, but most of the details are platform-independent.

  107. Robert, it may be that most of the people who are kicked off of Facebook aren’t whales, but then again most people who are on Facebook aren’t whales either. In any case, it only seems newsworthy when the people kicked off are social media celebrities, and those do tend to be whales.

    My question: whatever online “friends” are supposed to mean, does it really make sense for someone to have thousands of them? Isn’t there a better metaphor, for such a 1-to-many relationship? Perhaps a big part of the problem is that people are trying to build subscription / fan-club services on a platform really designed for 1-to-1 social networking.

    Not defending Facebook here–they should be transparent like any other business. But I do wonder if the people who have run afoul of its policies are pushing the limits of its design / intention.

    My own take on this space:

    http://thenoisychannel.com/2009/01/02/an-attention-ponzi-scheme/

    I focus on Twitter rather than Facebook, but most of the details are platform-independent.

  108. I would like to know more about the non-whales being kicked out: so far, all the stories I’ve read (I can’t go through 600 comments without a headacke, sorry) are about people who were borderline spammers: messages to large groups, many invites for an event, etc. Someone mentionned you being a McCain supporter: have you sent any political message recently? Even to people part of a like-minded group? (These groups confuse opinion and issues, and that is really unconfortable for people who would like to correct misunderstandings.) Such messages can annoy some people very fast — and a few of your friends might have signaled that message rather then un-friend you because they have too many friends to remember, and didn’t recognize you as one of them. It often happens to me, and I have less than the average number of contacts.

    I think Facebook already has a ‘jail’ feature: instead of showing your photo with bars, it hides your profile and prevents you from using your account, but this is blattantly meant for the same reasons as what you are calling a ‘jail’ for. Simply, you all seem to neglect that most closed accounts are actually spammers, and letting them access their account to harvest their list of gullible friends, or keeping their message visible is the last thing you want. Facebook needs a way to sort spammers from constructive people that is less work-intensive, and so far, it doesn’t seem to be very efficient.

    Two features might be intersesting, though: allow your friends who go though your page (presumably with a direct link) to vouch for your humanity, or answer a few questions about yourself to prove that they’ve met you. Limiting how many times you can vouch for someone might help limit fake accounts, although I wouldn’t say this feature can be as straightfoward as I describe it. Maybe include a status message: “Is John Smith a spammer?” with a link to a page describing the most common scams. That’s a great pretext to target gulible users, and explain to what are the threats on-line, and how to spot them; a few statistics might also help Scoble-readers to quiet down and realise that Facebook is doing that for a reason.

    Another one is certainly more controversial: make power-users, or whales, *pay* to have more contacts, or a fan-page, or a dedicated hot-line. I’m not sure it is a sufficient business model for the entier site, but it’s a revenue stream. I would be in favor of similar paying options for larger events, groups — but I do realize those demand more thinking then it seems; for instance: should Facebook limit member totals or daily adoptions?

  109. I would like to know more about the non-whales being kicked out: so far, all the stories I’ve read (I can’t go through 600 comments without a headacke, sorry) are about people who were borderline spammers: messages to large groups, many invites for an event, etc. Someone mentionned you being a McCain supporter: have you sent any political message recently? Even to people part of a like-minded group? (These groups confuse opinion and issues, and that is really unconfortable for people who would like to correct misunderstandings.) Such messages can annoy some people very fast — and a few of your friends might have signaled that message rather then un-friend you because they have too many friends to remember, and didn’t recognize you as one of them. It often happens to me, and I have less than the average number of contacts.

    I think Facebook already has a ‘jail’ feature: instead of showing your photo with bars, it hides your profile and prevents you from using your account, but this is blattantly meant for the same reasons as what you are calling a ‘jail’ for. Simply, you all seem to neglect that most closed accounts are actually spammers, and letting them access their account to harvest their list of gullible friends, or keeping their message visible is the last thing you want. Facebook needs a way to sort spammers from constructive people that is less work-intensive, and so far, it doesn’t seem to be very efficient.

    Two features might be intersesting, though: allow your friends who go though your page (presumably with a direct link) to vouch for your humanity, or answer a few questions about yourself to prove that they’ve met you. Limiting how many times you can vouch for someone might help limit fake accounts, although I wouldn’t say this feature can be as straightfoward as I describe it. Maybe include a status message: “Is John Smith a spammer?” with a link to a page describing the most common scams. That’s a great pretext to target gulible users, and explain to what are the threats on-line, and how to spot them; a few statistics might also help Scoble-readers to quiet down and realise that Facebook is doing that for a reason.

    Another one is certainly more controversial: make power-users, or whales, *pay* to have more contacts, or a fan-page, or a dedicated hot-line. I’m not sure it is a sufficient business model for the entier site, but it’s a revenue stream. I would be in favor of similar paying options for larger events, groups — but I do realize those demand more thinking then it seems; for instance: should Facebook limit member totals or daily adoptions?

  110. All due respect to Joel, he was hardly the co-creator of Y! Games.

    YHOO did buy classicgames.com in 1998. Joel was one of classigames 2 employees. But at best Joel was the agent for the deal. Eron wrote all the code as springerspan games. Once springerspan was up and running Joel approached Eron about marketing the site, Eron’s a great guy and a terrific engineer but no businessman.

    Y! approached classicgames (I think there were 6 games then) about buying the site (Joel did not sell the company, YHOO bought it). When Y! bought classicgames Eron was brought on board, Joel was not made an offer. Eron and 3 Y!’s threw out the entire front end of classicgames, wrote another half dozen games and Y! games was born.

    This was a classic “acq-hire” and Joel was not the guy YHOO hired.

  111. All due respect to Joel, he was hardly the co-creator of Y! Games.

    YHOO did buy classicgames.com in 1998. Joel was one of classigames 2 employees. But at best Joel was the agent for the deal. Eron wrote all the code as springerspan games. Once springerspan was up and running Joel approached Eron about marketing the site, Eron’s a great guy and a terrific engineer but no businessman.

    Y! approached classicgames (I think there were 6 games then) about buying the site (Joel did not sell the company, YHOO bought it). When Y! bought classicgames Eron was brought on board, Joel was not made an offer. Eron and 3 Y!’s threw out the entire front end of classicgames, wrote another half dozen games and Y! games was born.

    This was a classic “acq-hire” and Joel was not the guy YHOO hired.

  112. It is probably just a volume thing. Facebook is free and you really are getting what you pay for. I pay for my own servers to run my mission-critical web sites. That stuff to do well is NOT cheap. By having over 5,000 friends and an unlimited bucket to put stuff into costs Facebook storage and bandwidth.

    They just need to charge heavy users a fee. I would pay it and I think that most people who reply on Facebook to earn a living would. But, the pages would need to be ad-free and they would need to pick up a phone to provide support.

    I just don’t think that model fits into their way of doing business. But, it should.

    Bottom line: If a social network presence is mission-critical for your business, never, ever, ever host it on any free platform, including Facebook.

  113. It is probably just a volume thing. Facebook is free and you really are getting what you pay for. I pay for my own servers to run my mission-critical web sites. That stuff to do well is NOT cheap. By having over 5,000 friends and an unlimited bucket to put stuff into costs Facebook storage and bandwidth.

    They just need to charge heavy users a fee. I would pay it and I think that most people who reply on Facebook to earn a living would. But, the pages would need to be ad-free and they would need to pick up a phone to provide support.

    I just don’t think that model fits into their way of doing business. But, it should.

    Bottom line: If a social network presence is mission-critical for your business, never, ever, ever host it on any free platform, including Facebook.

  114. All these horror stories only reconfirm my total dislike of Facebook. Not that I dislike them for their policies, though I think they should probably start charging at certain levels of use, I just can’t stand the application. The interface feels like I’m using an old library card catalog when the rest of the social media world is using a computer database.

  115. All these horror stories only reconfirm my total dislike of Facebook. Not that I dislike them for their policies, though I think they should probably start charging at certain levels of use, I just can’t stand the application. The interface feels like I’m using an old library card catalog when the rest of the social media world is using a computer database.

  116. This disturbing trend is occurring more and more each week. All the more reason to establish your online business on your own domain.

    Louis Gray is right when he said above,

    “Meanwhile, as Facebook was banning Joel, 419 scammers are setting up hundreds of fake accounts and soliciting Facebook members for cash. I got requested “to help” today.”

    Thanks for staying on top of this issue, and I hope you make some progress next week in Davos.

  117. This disturbing trend is occurring more and more each week. All the more reason to establish your online business on your own domain.

    Louis Gray is right when he said above,

    “Meanwhile, as Facebook was banning Joel, 419 scammers are setting up hundreds of fake accounts and soliciting Facebook members for cash. I got requested “to help” today.”

    Thanks for staying on top of this issue, and I hope you make some progress next week in Davos.

  118. FB’s actions are wrong. Just because they feel threatened by a user, they shouldn’t abuse their power and unjustly erase the user from the system. Perhaps Facebook should change its TOS to clearly state that if a user gains too much influence, FB will likely erase them. Their actions remind me of the Chinese government unduly meddling. Thanks for sharing this uncalled for action by FB. Sounds like they are starting to let their growth get to their heads.

  119. FB’s actions are wrong. Just because they feel threatened by a user, they shouldn’t abuse their power and unjustly erase the user from the system. Perhaps Facebook should change its TOS to clearly state that if a user gains too much influence, FB will likely erase them. Their actions remind me of the Chinese government unduly meddling. Thanks for sharing this uncalled for action by FB. Sounds like they are starting to let their growth get to their heads.

  120. So I guess those multibillllllllion dollar valuations are now off? I’d bet Microsoft is glad for not listening to you, when you prodded them to buy during the irrational exuberance part-deuce era.

    Spammy most of the time, and horrid UI unusable when not,

  121. So I guess those multibillllllllion dollar valuations are now off? I’d bet Microsoft is glad for not listening to you, when you prodded them to buy during the irrational exuberance part-deuce era.

    Spammy most of the time, and horrid UI unusable when not,

  122. I’m glad you’re giving Joel’s case more exposure, Robert.

    The continued deactivation of Facebook accounts for violating any number of *unpublished* limitations is getting a tad weary for us peeps who use Facebook daily for business purposes.

    I spoke with Facebook’s Director of Online Operations, Don Faul, at the recent Affiliate Summit West (coincidentally where Joel Comm was also a keynote speaker) – I got the same response as you, Robert – that Facebook are “looking into the deactivation of legit accounts.” I asked Don specifically about a paid level of membership to allow for heavier users. Don seemed emphatic they’d never move to a paid subscription model. [Funny, as that would surely help with their revenue model. I would certainly pay a monthly/annual fee for removal of certain restrictions and improved features for business use.]

    It used to be that Facebook would issue up to three warnings before deactivating, and the shutdown would only occur if the warnings weren’t heeded. That makes more sense to me. Nonetheless, I wish Facebook would have a real person (as opposed to the bots) review theses cases. Essentially their algorithms are like a spam filter set too tight where bona fide emails land in the junk folder – Don confirmed this was the case and that if they were to loosen the filters more real spammers would prevail.

    Hopefully Joel’s situation will be the tipping point for revised policies in Facebook. Meantime, sure hope his account is back up and running fully intact asap!

    Cheers,
    @marismith

    P.S. I blogged about possibly avoiding Facebook account deactivation here:
    http://whyfacebook.com/2008/12/22/facebook-account-deactivation-can-it-be-avoided/

  123. I’m glad you’re giving Joel’s case more exposure, Robert.

    The continued deactivation of Facebook accounts for violating any number of *unpublished* limitations is getting a tad weary for us peeps who use Facebook daily for business purposes.

    I spoke with Facebook’s Director of Online Operations, Don Faul, at the recent Affiliate Summit West (coincidentally where Joel Comm was also a keynote speaker) – I got the same response as you, Robert – that Facebook are “looking into the deactivation of legit accounts.” I asked Don specifically about a paid level of membership to allow for heavier users. Don seemed emphatic they’d never move to a paid subscription model. [Funny, as that would surely help with their revenue model. I would certainly pay a monthly/annual fee for removal of certain restrictions and improved features for business use.]

    It used to be that Facebook would issue up to three warnings before deactivating, and the shutdown would only occur if the warnings weren’t heeded. That makes more sense to me. Nonetheless, I wish Facebook would have a real person (as opposed to the bots) review theses cases. Essentially their algorithms are like a spam filter set too tight where bona fide emails land in the junk folder – Don confirmed this was the case and that if they were to loosen the filters more real spammers would prevail.

    Hopefully Joel’s situation will be the tipping point for revised policies in Facebook. Meantime, sure hope his account is back up and running fully intact asap!

    Cheers,
    @marismith

    P.S. I blogged about possibly avoiding Facebook account deactivation here:
    http://whyfacebook.com/2008/12/22/facebook-account-deactivation-can-it-be-avoided/

  124. It is clear thet Joel was in violation of the terms of use of the site. So what, he should be excused by virtue of his celebrity. When he signed up he clearly new what the terms of use were yet he chose to break them. Therefore he should accept the consequences. Not because he has fame and money and a so called squeaky image, he be exempted from the rules…I say if it is good for Tom, it is good for Joe.

  125. It is clear thet Joel was in violation of the terms of use of the site. So what, he should be excused by virtue of his celebrity. When he signed up he clearly new what the terms of use were yet he chose to break them. Therefore he should accept the consequences. Not because he has fame and money and a so called squeaky image, he be exempted from the rules…I say if it is good for Tom, it is good for Joe.

  126. I will never cease to be amazed at how many “social media” companies simply don’t get their users or support the idea of social networking.

    It’s just bizarre.

    Thanks for the heads up Robert – I can’t believe you had to write something like this AGAIN – and that FB is silly enough not to have remedied the issue behind it in the first place.

  127. I will never cease to be amazed at how many “social media” companies simply don’t get their users or support the idea of social networking.

    It’s just bizarre.

    Thanks for the heads up Robert – I can’t believe you had to write something like this AGAIN – and that FB is silly enough not to have remedied the issue behind it in the first place.

  128. Hi Scoble,
    I had a similar thing happen to me when I reached 5,000 friends back in August. However, FB gave me a strong warning when I was trying to send people waiting to “friend” me to my Fan Page at http://facebook.dj/smmnetwork

    They sent me a very stern message that if I didn’t stop “spamming” folks they were going to shut me down. I was shocked because these were people that were waiting to connect with me and I was simply sending them a message to say “hey, I can’t accept any more friends here, but you can join me at my Fan Page.

    I found the whole thing w/Facebook to be too nerve wrecking and I’ve totally changed how I use Facebook. But I have over 400 people waiting to connect with me. What I end up doing is going through my FB friend list and deleting folks who don’t seem to share a very common interest with me. Then I add some of the newer people who have asked to connect.

    To me, FB is a place to meet people, but not to build relationships – you have to get them outside of FB so you can interact with them. I now refer them to my Twitter network and my Ning network.

    Regards,
    @jim_turner

    P.S. Here’s the blog I posted about my delima back in August: http://pitbullmarketing.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/warning-facebook-has-gone-cuckoo/

  129. Hi Scoble,
    I had a similar thing happen to me when I reached 5,000 friends back in August. However, FB gave me a strong warning when I was trying to send people waiting to “friend” me to my Fan Page at http://facebook.dj/smmnetwork

    They sent me a very stern message that if I didn’t stop “spamming” folks they were going to shut me down. I was shocked because these were people that were waiting to connect with me and I was simply sending them a message to say “hey, I can’t accept any more friends here, but you can join me at my Fan Page.

    I found the whole thing w/Facebook to be too nerve wrecking and I’ve totally changed how I use Facebook. But I have over 400 people waiting to connect with me. What I end up doing is going through my FB friend list and deleting folks who don’t seem to share a very common interest with me. Then I add some of the newer people who have asked to connect.

    To me, FB is a place to meet people, but not to build relationships – you have to get them outside of FB so you can interact with them. I now refer them to my Twitter network and my Ning network.

    Regards,
    @jim_turner

    P.S. Here’s the blog I posted about my delima back in August: http://pitbullmarketing.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/warning-facebook-has-gone-cuckoo/

  130. Their excuse will be a stiffarm and silence.

    That is what happened to me when EBay suspended my account two years ago. (I never went back)

    I had 720 Positives and 0 negatives. A customer complained she did not receive her product.

    Bang, Dead! I was a goner

    I wish Scobe good luck with FB. Give em hell.

  131. Their excuse will be a stiffarm and silence.

    That is what happened to me when EBay suspended my account two years ago. (I never went back)

    I had 720 Positives and 0 negatives. A customer complained she did not receive her product.

    Bang, Dead! I was a goner

    I wish Scobe good luck with FB. Give em hell.

  132. The exact same thing happened to our group, The Conservative Underground. When we hit 5,000 members, we had the exact same issues. Membership kept growing, but we had no way to contact them anymore.

    We moved on to Ning, but are still battling facebook. I’m done with fb. The college kids can have it back :)

  133. The exact same thing happened to our group, The Conservative Underground. When we hit 5,000 members, we had the exact same issues. Membership kept growing, but we had no way to contact them anymore.

    We moved on to Ning, but are still battling facebook. I’m done with fb. The college kids can have it back :)

  134. To Ex-Y,

    I’m guessing this is E.S. Nice to see you!

    I was the co-founder of ClassicGames.com, which was most definitely sold to Yahoo… bought by Yahoo.. I believe its the same thing. ClassicGames BECAME Yahoo! games, thus, I am the co-founder with Eron. As you said, Yahoo just bought it. We were the co-creators.

    When I discovered Springerspan they had a maximum of 5 or 6 people playing at one time. And I can’t be certain, but I think there were only five or six games. Eron is a brilliant programmer and I knew that the site deserved much more. He was not motivated and I inspired him to turn it into a marketable product. It was just a hobby for him.

    Anyhow, It took several months before we partnered up because he was being wooed by another site, which I think has since gone under.

    For whatever reason, he decided to partner with me. It was my idea to change the name to ClassicGames.com, and it was my marketing that brought attention to the site. There was much more to this than “brokering” a deal. I was an integral part of the growth of ClassicGames.com. You are correct.. Eron is a great guy, but no businessman.

    Yahoo was not the only suitor at that time. I had been in talks with a couple of Y’s competitors, but none of them really “got it” yet. Yahoo was the most forward thinking of the bunch. From my perspective, I didn’t want to build out with more servers and staff. I wanted to flip it and move on.

    We had SIXTEEN games when we began discussions, not SIX as you stated.

    http://web.archive.org/web/19980109120448/http://classicgames.com/

    I knew how much time I had put into it and had a decision to make. Did I want to hold on to it, grow it and increase value, or did I want to flip it and move on with other things.

    After we rejected two offers from Yahoo, I accepted the third. Y got a steal of a deal, but both Eron and I were happy. We got what we wanted. Y got what they wanted.

    I seem to remember early on that there were talks to see if I would be interested in coming to Yahoo, but I said no way. I was not moving my family to California.

    A similar conversation took place a year later as I have an email from J.K. asking if I would be interested in joining the Y! Entertainment team as a Sr. Producer. Once again, I said no as I had no desire to move my family to California. Nor did I want to go to work for anyone, regardless of who they were. I’m too much of an entrepreneur.

    I’m not sure what brought your term to Yahoo to a conclusion, but I guess you got out while the gettin’ was still good. It’s a shame what has happened to that company.

    Anyhow, just wanted to set the record straight. :-)

    Good luck with Foneshow. We’re entering the mobile space as well. Check out http://www.textcastlive.com

  135. To Ex-Y,

    I’m guessing this is E.S. Nice to see you!

    I was the co-founder of ClassicGames.com, which was most definitely sold to Yahoo… bought by Yahoo.. I believe its the same thing. ClassicGames BECAME Yahoo! games, thus, I am the co-founder with Eron. As you said, Yahoo just bought it. We were the co-creators.

    When I discovered Springerspan they had a maximum of 5 or 6 people playing at one time. And I can’t be certain, but I think there were only five or six games. Eron is a brilliant programmer and I knew that the site deserved much more. He was not motivated and I inspired him to turn it into a marketable product. It was just a hobby for him.

    Anyhow, It took several months before we partnered up because he was being wooed by another site, which I think has since gone under.

    For whatever reason, he decided to partner with me. It was my idea to change the name to ClassicGames.com, and it was my marketing that brought attention to the site. There was much more to this than “brokering” a deal. I was an integral part of the growth of ClassicGames.com. You are correct.. Eron is a great guy, but no businessman.

    Yahoo was not the only suitor at that time. I had been in talks with a couple of Y’s competitors, but none of them really “got it” yet. Yahoo was the most forward thinking of the bunch. From my perspective, I didn’t want to build out with more servers and staff. I wanted to flip it and move on.

    We had SIXTEEN games when we began discussions, not SIX as you stated.

    http://web.archive.org/web/19980109120448/http://classicgames.com/

    I knew how much time I had put into it and had a decision to make. Did I want to hold on to it, grow it and increase value, or did I want to flip it and move on with other things.

    After we rejected two offers from Yahoo, I accepted the third. Y got a steal of a deal, but both Eron and I were happy. We got what we wanted. Y got what they wanted.

    I seem to remember early on that there were talks to see if I would be interested in coming to Yahoo, but I said no way. I was not moving my family to California.

    A similar conversation took place a year later as I have an email from J.K. asking if I would be interested in joining the Y! Entertainment team as a Sr. Producer. Once again, I said no as I had no desire to move my family to California. Nor did I want to go to work for anyone, regardless of who they were. I’m too much of an entrepreneur.

    I’m not sure what brought your term to Yahoo to a conclusion, but I guess you got out while the gettin’ was still good. It’s a shame what has happened to that company.

    Anyhow, just wanted to set the record straight. :-)

    Good luck with Foneshow. We’re entering the mobile space as well. Check out http://www.textcastlive.com

  136. I think it is crazy for Joel to be kicked out from Facebook . It is making me think twice as a marketer / and writer for the largest marketing magazine in the Middle East whether FB is a viable marketing / business tool.

    FB users spend hours a day and then their account is taken away. That is plain wrong . I know some of my friends who spend 10 – 12 hours a day on it if their account is deleted they will not be happy campers.

    Twitter should learn from this . My account was suspended on a new account that I created and I’m begging twitter to put it back. My twitter was @obamawines and mine is @debbas

    True we don’t want spammers but there are real people who are taking time to make twitter and facebook become what they are. If it is not for the users the valuation of FB would be worth zero. FB and others should always think how fickle the consumer and is ready to move and takes a second to move thousands of people to another site. I mean who remembers Hi5 anymore :) although I hear it is making a comeback. With hundreds of new social media sites coming out everyday from nutella lovers to fitizens passing by the large ones such as My Space and FB and Twitter now the user ahs so many choices and can take his network and move it another one.

    On a side note I was going to spend money on FB on social ads I will not until Joel’s account is put back out of principle and I hope that someone will help me on Twitter and put back my @obamawines.

    One thing I learnt from that experience is to save my important DM’s ie : telephone numbers and emails of people as well as replies on an Excel spreadsheet . Trust me guys it is bummer if it happens to you . You feel you have been cheated of your time . Time in this day and age is so valuable .

    Good luck . Joel I’m with you. I will be interviewing you soon : )

  137. I think it is crazy for Joel to be kicked out from Facebook . It is making me think twice as a marketer / and writer for the largest marketing magazine in the Middle East whether FB is a viable marketing / business tool.

    FB users spend hours a day and then their account is taken away. That is plain wrong . I know some of my friends who spend 10 – 12 hours a day on it if their account is deleted they will not be happy campers.

    Twitter should learn from this . My account was suspended on a new account that I created and I’m begging twitter to put it back. My twitter was @obamawines and mine is @debbas

    True we don’t want spammers but there are real people who are taking time to make twitter and facebook become what they are. If it is not for the users the valuation of FB would be worth zero. FB and others should always think how fickle the consumer and is ready to move and takes a second to move thousands of people to another site. I mean who remembers Hi5 anymore :) although I hear it is making a comeback. With hundreds of new social media sites coming out everyday from nutella lovers to fitizens passing by the large ones such as My Space and FB and Twitter now the user ahs so many choices and can take his network and move it another one.

    On a side note I was going to spend money on FB on social ads I will not until Joel’s account is put back out of principle and I hope that someone will help me on Twitter and put back my @obamawines.

    One thing I learnt from that experience is to save my important DM’s ie : telephone numbers and emails of people as well as replies on an Excel spreadsheet . Trust me guys it is bummer if it happens to you . You feel you have been cheated of your time . Time in this day and age is so valuable .

    Good luck . Joel I’m with you. I will be interviewing you soon : )

  138. FaceBook will continue to aggravate users for no good reason, and I’m just waiting for the time when we won’t need them anymore. I’m sure the day will come when something comes along that makes FB the new MySpace; I just have to be patient. In the meantime, I have access to sites that are less restrictive, less stupid and more fun, and I check those daily, saving FaceBook interaction for a couple of times a week.

  139. FaceBook will continue to aggravate users for no good reason, and I’m just waiting for the time when we won’t need them anymore. I’m sure the day will come when something comes along that makes FB the new MySpace; I just have to be patient. In the meantime, I have access to sites that are less restrictive, less stupid and more fun, and I check those daily, saving FaceBook interaction for a couple of times a week.

  140. FaceBook, not understanding that they are the tools and we are the wielders, will continue to aggravate users for no good reason, and I’m just waiting for the time when we won’t need them anymore. I’m sure the day will come when something comes along that makes FB the new MySpace; I just have to be patient. In the meantime, I have access to sites that are less restrictive, less stupid and more fun, and I check those daily, saving FaceBook interaction for a couple of times a week.

  141. FaceBook, not understanding that they are the tools and we are the wielders, will continue to aggravate users for no good reason, and I’m just waiting for the time when we won’t need them anymore. I’m sure the day will come when something comes along that makes FB the new MySpace; I just have to be patient. In the meantime, I have access to sites that are less restrictive, less stupid and more fun, and I check those daily, saving FaceBook interaction for a couple of times a week.

  142. I am a Facebook developer. Facebook disabled my account very sudden while I was using testing the Facebook API in the Facebook Developer Tool (Sandbox). I believe I must have triggered the maximum limit of testing API that day. I have received a very subtle warning after a moderate use of testing API on a specific day. It was not spamming. There are no guideline on maximum use of testing API on Facebook Developer Tool.

    I found my Facebook was disabled. I followed the instruction by submitting the disabled request. I searched the entire Facebook Developer Forum finding not much useful information. I was frustrated as I was under deadline on release working for startup on Facebook API. Losing my developer account was affecting me and startup.

    I was also admin of a few Facebook Group including Facebook Developer Garage Group (3nd Largest Garage group in the world). Like other, I lost the group admin and a stranger hijacked the group as admin.

    The happy ending is after waiting for 2 weeks. Facebook reactivates my Facebook Account after looking into the matter.

    Facebook also made a small policy change on Facebook group admin.

    The lesson is you have to use Facebook with risks.

    Last few months Facebook spamming algorithm was much tighter. Once users trigger the limit, the spamming will disable account without warning, regardless of nature.

    Another Facebook Developer Garage organizer also got his Facebook disabled by sending a good amount of private emails. His account was enabled after weeks of waiting and requests.

    The proposal is Can Facebook implement a better warning system on spamming algorithm? including Robert Scoble’s proposal like Jails.

    Obviously putting the low spamming limit on Facebook Developer Tools is a very bad ideas. Or provide a better Facebook account recovery system to speed up the process and provide more user-friendly instruction. Rather than a Facebook email.

    There are many creative ways to make users feel safer to put tremendous amount of data into a single Facebook account. It is all about the Policy, implementation and execution.

    Another critical area is Facebook Connect. Facebook Connect is to allow Facebook user to use its ID to log into other web sites like Open ID. If Facebook wants Facebook Connect to be successful and viral, then it is important for Facebook to improve the recovery process.

  143. I am a Facebook developer. Facebook disabled my account very sudden while I was using testing the Facebook API in the Facebook Developer Tool (Sandbox). I believe I must have triggered the maximum limit of testing API that day. I have received a very subtle warning after a moderate use of testing API on a specific day. It was not spamming. There are no guideline on maximum use of testing API on Facebook Developer Tool.

    I found my Facebook was disabled. I followed the instruction by submitting the disabled request. I searched the entire Facebook Developer Forum finding not much useful information. I was frustrated as I was under deadline on release working for startup on Facebook API. Losing my developer account was affecting me and startup.

    I was also admin of a few Facebook Group including Facebook Developer Garage Group (3nd Largest Garage group in the world). Like other, I lost the group admin and a stranger hijacked the group as admin.

    The happy ending is after waiting for 2 weeks. Facebook reactivates my Facebook Account after looking into the matter.

    Facebook also made a small policy change on Facebook group admin.

    The lesson is you have to use Facebook with risks.

    Last few months Facebook spamming algorithm was much tighter. Once users trigger the limit, the spamming will disable account without warning, regardless of nature.

    Another Facebook Developer Garage organizer also got his Facebook disabled by sending a good amount of private emails. His account was enabled after weeks of waiting and requests.

    The proposal is Can Facebook implement a better warning system on spamming algorithm? including Robert Scoble’s proposal like Jails.

    Obviously putting the low spamming limit on Facebook Developer Tools is a very bad ideas. Or provide a better Facebook account recovery system to speed up the process and provide more user-friendly instruction. Rather than a Facebook email.

    There are many creative ways to make users feel safer to put tremendous amount of data into a single Facebook account. It is all about the Policy, implementation and execution.

    Another critical area is Facebook Connect. Facebook Connect is to allow Facebook user to use its ID to log into other web sites like Open ID. If Facebook wants Facebook Connect to be successful and viral, then it is important for Facebook to improve the recovery process.

  144. [...] Scobleizer: I refuse to use Facebook to conduct business and don’t upload many videos or photos there because I don’t support companies that “erase” MY data without my permission. I know of no other social network that does this in this way. [...]

  145. As I said last time … you should carefully consider how much of your life, work, communication you trust to a site managed/run/owned by someone else. It has no backup function.

    Funny comment: “The lesson is you have to use Facebook with risks.” That is NOT the lesson I draw. The lesson is why use facebook for anything important and the answer is … don’t. This will happen more and more as we put our data in the hands of others.

    After they kicked off Robt., he responded several weeks later by writing a nice story/interview on them and didn’t even explore the issue …

    Come on Robt. Go to work and ask them. They used to give no warning and they didn’t used to even tell you you were removed, you had to discover it yourself.

  146. As I said last time … you should carefully consider how much of your life, work, communication you trust to a site managed/run/owned by someone else. It has no backup function.

    Funny comment: “The lesson is you have to use Facebook with risks.” That is NOT the lesson I draw. The lesson is why use facebook for anything important and the answer is … don’t. This will happen more and more as we put our data in the hands of others.

    After they kicked off Robt., he responded several weeks later by writing a nice story/interview on them and didn’t even explore the issue …

    Come on Robt. Go to work and ask them. They used to give no warning and they didn’t used to even tell you you were removed, you had to discover it yourself.

  147. The best suggestion I’ve heard in this comment marathon is that Facebook could offer paid levels of membership that came with SLAs. Indeed, I don’t understand why Facebook isn’t interested in this freemium model.

    But other than that, I have to say that the complaints against Facebook are a bit whiny. Folks, it’s *free*, which doesn’t give you much negotiating leverage. Indeed, the one bargaining chip you have, the threat to take your business elsewhere, is kinda moot if they’re dumping you first.

    Facebook would be smart to establish transparent rules and enforce them. So would Google, but that’s another story. But what true in both cases is that beggars can’t be choosers. You gets what you pays for.

  148. The best suggestion I’ve heard in this comment marathon is that Facebook could offer paid levels of membership that came with SLAs. Indeed, I don’t understand why Facebook isn’t interested in this freemium model.

    But other than that, I have to say that the complaints against Facebook are a bit whiny. Folks, it’s *free*, which doesn’t give you much negotiating leverage. Indeed, the one bargaining chip you have, the threat to take your business elsewhere, is kinda moot if they’re dumping you first.

    Facebook would be smart to establish transparent rules and enforce them. So would Google, but that’s another story. But what true in both cases is that beggars can’t be choosers. You gets what you pays for.

  149. Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Facebook screws iFart author «…

    He’s not a “nobody” on the Internet who is a spammer.
    But, Facebook had a problem with him and kicked him off….

  150. @daniel – its kinda of insulting to facebook users that your attitude “you gets what you pays for” Facebook hve provided the platform for FREE for mostly honest users out there to engage with friends and communities… at the same time these users are and have created FACEBOOK from nothing… facebook should respect users more and provide more interaction with those that spend more time creating the brand Facebook instead of dumping them – education is always better than a wooden stick..

  151. @daniel – its kinda of insulting to facebook users that your attitude “you gets what you pays for” Facebook hve provided the platform for FREE for mostly honest users out there to engage with friends and communities… at the same time these users are and have created FACEBOOK from nothing… facebook should respect users more and provide more interaction with those that spend more time creating the brand Facebook instead of dumping them – education is always better than a wooden stick..

  152. after getting kicked off (and reinstated) Facebook numerous times last year, AND getting a cease and desist letter from them re my FacebookEconomy.com domain name. I think FB has toned things down now, at least a little.
    I haven’t been kicked off in awhile now, and their lawyers seem to have forgotten about the domain name =)

  153. after getting kicked off (and reinstated) Facebook numerous times last year, AND getting a cease and desist letter from them re my FacebookEconomy.com domain name. I think FB has toned things down now, at least a little.
    I haven’t been kicked off in awhile now, and their lawyers seem to have forgotten about the domain name =)

  154. @Bertil Hatt, I can give you an example of a non-whale. Facebook makes it so that you can click on one of your interests or favourite bands and it brings up a list of other people who are interested in this band and have a public profile. What is the purpose of this feature? I would think that it is part of social networking and discovering new friends with similar interests. That is part of what this whole social networking thing is about – meeting new people. They even have the features for it.

    BUT, when you then message those people and say “Hey I like xyz band as well, what did you think of their latest album?” you are, as far as I can see, breaking facebook’s TOS in that this is unsolicited messaging. If you read some of the complaints mentioned on that site, people are suggesting they may have been banned for exactly that reason.

    So if Facebook is only to contact existing friends, why does it have all of these features like friends-of-friends, and so on? And how do you contact them without breaking the TOS? It is lunacy; as soon as someone objects to your unsolicited message, you may be disabled.

  155. @Bertil Hatt, I can give you an example of a non-whale. Facebook makes it so that you can click on one of your interests or favourite bands and it brings up a list of other people who are interested in this band and have a public profile. What is the purpose of this feature? I would think that it is part of social networking and discovering new friends with similar interests. That is part of what this whole social networking thing is about – meeting new people. They even have the features for it.

    BUT, when you then message those people and say “Hey I like xyz band as well, what did you think of their latest album?” you are, as far as I can see, breaking facebook’s TOS in that this is unsolicited messaging. If you read some of the complaints mentioned on that site, people are suggesting they may have been banned for exactly that reason.

    So if Facebook is only to contact existing friends, why does it have all of these features like friends-of-friends, and so on? And how do you contact them without breaking the TOS? It is lunacy; as soon as someone objects to your unsolicited message, you may be disabled.

  156. Just interesting reading these comments to see who is playing in someone else’s playground for free and those who own their own playground. The people who don’t own their own playground have no idea how much things cost and really, truly do not care, but always want to be able to hop on the see-saw without waiting in line.

    Y’all need to watch this video ad get your heads on straight. CK Lewis http://barefootmeg.multiply.com/video/item/56
    “We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it’s wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots.”

  157. Just interesting reading these comments to see who is playing in someone else’s playground for free and those who own their own playground. The people who don’t own their own playground have no idea how much things cost and really, truly do not care, but always want to be able to hop on the see-saw without waiting in line.

    Y’all need to watch this video ad get your heads on straight. CK Lewis http://barefootmeg.multiply.com/video/item/56
    “We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it’s wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots.”

  158. I just had a Facebook DMCA letter hit my inbox this morning over a video I have had online for many years in many locations. Yet, Facebook just found an audio track signature and decided to shoot first and ask for clarification later. Now I read this entry from you and it sounds like the policy daemons are running overtime now.

    Perhaps there is a larger concerted effort within Facebook to bring about some automation on policy fronts? There is a fine line between automation and alienation.

  159. I just had a Facebook DMCA letter hit my inbox this morning over a video I have had online for many years in many locations. Yet, Facebook just found an audio track signature and decided to shoot first and ask for clarification later. Now I read this entry from you and it sounds like the policy daemons are running overtime now.

    Perhaps there is a larger concerted effort within Facebook to bring about some automation on policy fronts? There is a fine line between automation and alienation.

  160. @aplink

    I’m not defending the apparent arbitrariness of Facebook’s policy. But neither do I accept the kumbaya assertion that some “we” created Facebook from nothing. Did we create Google and Twitter too?

    Look, if Facebook alienates its users, it will lose them. Likewise for the application developers it courts to be part of its ecology. But Facebook is a business with employees and shareholders, not some kind of collectivist movement. I suppose it’s none of my business, but it irks me when the echo-chamber of the blogosphere resonates with a sense of entitlement.

    If you really feel you helped build Facebook, then perhaps next time you’ll learn to ask for a contract.

  161. @aplink

    I’m not defending the apparent arbitrariness of Facebook’s policy. But neither do I accept the kumbaya assertion that some “we” created Facebook from nothing. Did we create Google and Twitter too?

    Look, if Facebook alienates its users, it will lose them. Likewise for the application developers it courts to be part of its ecology. But Facebook is a business with employees and shareholders, not some kind of collectivist movement. I suppose it’s none of my business, but it irks me when the echo-chamber of the blogosphere resonates with a sense of entitlement.

    If you really feel you helped build Facebook, then perhaps next time you’ll learn to ask for a contract.

  162. @daniel

    word of mouth built facebook not me or you as individuals but collectively facebook users did… facebooks growing population was and is fueled by people verbally talking abut it and connecting online. facebook is earning advertising revenues based on global word of mouth – it would not have employees and share holders without people chatter or a platform that people want to be a part of and use – i have yet to see any advertising spend by facebook to get people engaged like other businesses do – it is the people who do the advertising for facebook and some of these people get banned unfortunately.

  163. @daniel

    word of mouth built facebook not me or you as individuals but collectively facebook users did… facebooks growing population was and is fueled by people verbally talking abut it and connecting online. facebook is earning advertising revenues based on global word of mouth – it would not have employees and share holders without people chatter or a platform that people want to be a part of and use – i have yet to see any advertising spend by facebook to get people engaged like other businesses do – it is the people who do the advertising for facebook and some of these people get banned unfortunately.

  164. Interesting and thought-provoking article, Robert!

    In defense of you, Joel and countless others who have been suspended or removed from Facebook, it certainly doesn’t seem like you’re being treated fairly. It’s hard to imagine that someone with 5,000 confirmed Facebook friends and ten times as many followers on Twitter could be considered a spambot. Generally speaking, online communities, wikis, social networks, etc. have a way of policing themselves; content that other people enjoy gets shared and promoted while spam and other “noise” gets blocked or ignored. Facebook and other social sites would all be best-served by this sort of grassroots self-policing, rather than a top-down approach.

    However, there’s a subtle point to which some other readers have alluded in the comments. You wrote, “I don’t support companies that ‘erase’ MY data without my permission.” What you may not realize is that based on Facebook’s TOS (http://www.facebook.com/terms.php), what you think are “your data” actually are not “your data,” not by a long shot, not once you’ve posted them on Facebook.

    If you think there are safer or better places than Facebook to put “your data” on the internet, you’re also mistaken. Take a peek at Google’s TOS (http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS). In particular, read section 11, where you hand over all rights to “your” content to them (except basic copyright, which you automatically have any time you produce an original work and put your name on it). You’re basically giving Google a free license to use your content — even for their own commercial gain!

    Everyone knows that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. In return for providing “free” distribution of “your” content, companies like Facebook, Google and the likes are creating massive databases of incredibly valuable “information capital.” This in turn allows them to offer you a “free” service while they sell this information capital — the stuff you gave them, remember? — to advertisers. That pays their bills, which in turn allows them to continue to give you “free” content distribution.

    Average people (who upload videos of dogs on skateboards, etc. to Facebook) don’t care about data ownership and are perfectly happy to hand the rights to their content over to Facebook or Google it order to share it more easily with their friends. Average people — however — aren’t one man media outlets, either, but YOU are. So, being an internet/social media mogul, I’m sure you understand that content distribution isn’t free.

    The solution? Host your content yourself! People like you and Joel have the resources to pay for your own hosting AND you have loyal audiences that will follow you wherever you go. You can leverage social media to help the viral spread of your content, but the obvious goal of your participation in social media and social networking should be to drive eyeballs/click-throughs back to YOUR site so people can view YOUR content, ensuring that YOUR advertisers get bang for their buck.

    It really all boils down to two old sayings: there’s no such thing as a free lunch and you get what you pay for. Want to pay for your own hosting and distribution? Then you can own your own content. Want to get free distribution from Facebook or Google? Then be prepared to give them something in return.

    http://twitter.com/bucchere

  165. Interesting and thought-provoking article, Robert!

    In defense of you, Joel and countless others who have been suspended or removed from Facebook, it certainly doesn’t seem like you’re being treated fairly. It’s hard to imagine that someone with 5,000 confirmed Facebook friends and ten times as many followers on Twitter could be considered a spambot. Generally speaking, online communities, wikis, social networks, etc. have a way of policing themselves; content that other people enjoy gets shared and promoted while spam and other “noise” gets blocked or ignored. Facebook and other social sites would all be best-served by this sort of grassroots self-policing, rather than a top-down approach.

    However, there’s a subtle point to which some other readers have alluded in the comments. You wrote, “I don’t support companies that ‘erase’ MY data without my permission.” What you may not realize is that based on Facebook’s TOS (http://www.facebook.com/terms.php), what you think are “your data” actually are not “your data,” not by a long shot, not once you’ve posted them on Facebook.

    If you think there are safer or better places than Facebook to put “your data” on the internet, you’re also mistaken. Take a peek at Google’s TOS (http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS). In particular, read section 11, where you hand over all rights to “your” content to them (except basic copyright, which you automatically have any time you produce an original work and put your name on it). You’re basically giving Google a free license to use your content — even for their own commercial gain!

    Everyone knows that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. In return for providing “free” distribution of “your” content, companies like Facebook, Google and the likes are creating massive databases of incredibly valuable “information capital.” This in turn allows them to offer you a “free” service while they sell this information capital — the stuff you gave them, remember? — to advertisers. That pays their bills, which in turn allows them to continue to give you “free” content distribution.

    Average people (who upload videos of dogs on skateboards, etc. to Facebook) don’t care about data ownership and are perfectly happy to hand the rights to their content over to Facebook or Google it order to share it more easily with their friends. Average people — however — aren’t one man media outlets, either, but YOU are. So, being an internet/social media mogul, I’m sure you understand that content distribution isn’t free.

    The solution? Host your content yourself! People like you and Joel have the resources to pay for your own hosting AND you have loyal audiences that will follow you wherever you go. You can leverage social media to help the viral spread of your content, but the obvious goal of your participation in social media and social networking should be to drive eyeballs/click-throughs back to YOUR site so people can view YOUR content, ensuring that YOUR advertisers get bang for their buck.

    It really all boils down to two old sayings: there’s no such thing as a free lunch and you get what you pay for. Want to pay for your own hosting and distribution? Then you can own your own content. Want to get free distribution from Facebook or Google? Then be prepared to give them something in return.

    http://twitter.com/bucchere

  166. The outright deletion of profiles and information on Facebook is obscene, considering most of their “spam detectors” are automatic and are not humans actually looking into the matter.

    I do believe that the very people who drive Facebook to be the powerhouse that it is, should be treated with respect and as individuals… not instant spammers because of one or two “spam alerts” they receive from a non-human source.

    “Jailing” accounts is a great idea, and it would be very wise of Facebook to implement something like this.

  167. The outright deletion of profiles and information on Facebook is obscene, considering most of their “spam detectors” are automatic and are not humans actually looking into the matter.

    I do believe that the very people who drive Facebook to be the powerhouse that it is, should be treated with respect and as individuals… not instant spammers because of one or two “spam alerts” they receive from a non-human source.

    “Jailing” accounts is a great idea, and it would be very wise of Facebook to implement something like this.

  168. They already have the features you mention. they can disable just messaging and leave other functions intact.

    I must conclude that their action was not as a result of just the amount of messaging. Perhaps he broke some other unpublished rules.

    Your summing up is correct. If he is not happy with Facebook, he shouldn’t use it. However, millions of ordinary people (not the early adopters like your good self) are perfectly happy with Facebook.

    When my messaging was suspended I wrote about it and then I got in touch with the Company that looks after the PR For Facebook in the UK and you knwo what, within 24 hours I had my account back. No threats, no holier than thou attitude. I kindly asked for access back and I received it. It’s amazing what a bit of politeness (and not threats) can do when required.

    btw, did you know that your blog is not supported by backtype :-(

    Mike Ashworth

  169. They already have the features you mention. they can disable just messaging and leave other functions intact.

    I must conclude that their action was not as a result of just the amount of messaging. Perhaps he broke some other unpublished rules.

    Your summing up is correct. If he is not happy with Facebook, he shouldn’t use it. However, millions of ordinary people (not the early adopters like your good self) are perfectly happy with Facebook.

    When my messaging was suspended I wrote about it and then I got in touch with the Company that looks after the PR For Facebook in the UK and you knwo what, within 24 hours I had my account back. No threats, no holier than thou attitude. I kindly asked for access back and I received it. It’s amazing what a bit of politeness (and not threats) can do when required.

    btw, did you know that your blog is not supported by backtype :-(

    Mike Ashworth

  170. Hi Robert,

    I just feel the whole social networking thing is ‘broken’ by design – it encourages a siloed approach to data federation and syndication and most of all, it puts immense power in the hands of a few individuals.

    I first noticed this flaw during my participation in other social networks (precursors to ‘book) – especially when witnessing the “community vs. Ecademy” debacle at the beginning of this decade that spurred what has since been known as the “night of the long knives” when one of the directors and general goodwill ambassadors ran roughshod over the account system and banned many members for speaking out against site policy. This same social network also took a few other decisions that made many leave – there was a horrible stench of group think everywhere and people were in ‘fear’ of speaking out about site policy should they get banned for expressing their opinions.

    This decade has been the most successful yet in showing how community-led systems can rival traditional commercial models. I continue to hope that as Facebook and other SNs continue to promote the benefit of adopting these tools there will reach a critical mass that puts weight behind the initiatives such as data portability, ownership and identity.

    If SNs such as Facebook continue to struggle with these challenges then fragmentation will be further encouraged and contribute to this momentum, the sooner the better I believe – today’s SNs are already looking dated and boring – tomorrow’s SN will be just another application layer on top of today’s well-known tools and devices.

    In January 2008 I was exploring methods and means to achieve this, as are many others – hopefully one day a peer to peer social network will exist that will make these ventures superfluous and remove their monopolistic power over crowd-sourcing.

  171. Hi Robert,

    I just feel the whole social networking thing is ‘broken’ by design – it encourages a siloed approach to data federation and syndication and most of all, it puts immense power in the hands of a few individuals.

    I first noticed this flaw during my participation in other social networks (precursors to ‘book) – especially when witnessing the “community vs. Ecademy” debacle at the beginning of this decade that spurred what has since been known as the “night of the long knives” when one of the directors and general goodwill ambassadors ran roughshod over the account system and banned many members for speaking out against site policy. This same social network also took a few other decisions that made many leave – there was a horrible stench of group think everywhere and people were in ‘fear’ of speaking out about site policy should they get banned for expressing their opinions.

    This decade has been the most successful yet in showing how community-led systems can rival traditional commercial models. I continue to hope that as Facebook and other SNs continue to promote the benefit of adopting these tools there will reach a critical mass that puts weight behind the initiatives such as data portability, ownership and identity.

    If SNs such as Facebook continue to struggle with these challenges then fragmentation will be further encouraged and contribute to this momentum, the sooner the better I believe – today’s SNs are already looking dated and boring – tomorrow’s SN will be just another application layer on top of today’s well-known tools and devices.

    In January 2008 I was exploring methods and means to achieve this, as are many others – hopefully one day a peer to peer social network will exist that will make these ventures superfluous and remove their monopolistic power over crowd-sourcing.

  172. The ONE thing you gotta remember about Facebook is that it’s run by a bunch of 25 year old kids. That one fact is all that is needed to understand why they do the idiotic things that they do… ie: erasing people’s accounts erroneously, having a terrible user interface that is completely illogical (and people seem to ignore this, most likely because their closest competitor is MySpace’s UI, aka Geocities), having a horrible API that is both poorly written and documented, having all those ridiculous issues with privacy, etc etc.

  173. The ONE thing you gotta remember about Facebook is that it’s run by a bunch of 25 year old kids. That one fact is all that is needed to understand why they do the idiotic things that they do… ie: erasing people’s accounts erroneously, having a terrible user interface that is completely illogical (and people seem to ignore this, most likely because their closest competitor is MySpace’s UI, aka Geocities), having a horrible API that is both poorly written and documented, having all those ridiculous issues with privacy, etc etc.

  174. 1: Just because Joel Comm has been an Internet Marketer for years does not mean he is not a spammer. Ask yourself this. Why has Joel got 5000 friends? What is his main purpose for doing so? It all comes down to one thing – trying to sell more stuff.

    2: Joel Comm has not met everyone on his list. His list would be made up of many people whom he has never met and never has the intention of meeting. Facebook was created as a social network where friends and family can stay connected. Joel is using it predominantly as a business tool – this is not its intended purpose and he has found that out the hard way.

    3: There is no point whinging about having an account banned. Millions of people use Facebook everyday the way it was intended to be used and never have any problems. If your account has been banned them clearly you have not been using Facebook the way it was intended – for connecting with family and friends – NOT marketing your business.

    4: I applaud Facebook for trying to get rid of people who use the system for business purposes only. We get enough spam in our email and it seems we can’t go anywhere without having sales message shoved down our throat. Facebook should be somewhere people can go without having to be subjected to this same old rubbish.

    5: You ask where Facebook will be in five years time if they keep deleting people’s accounts who they think are abusing the system? Well where do you think Facebook will be in 5 years if they don’t put a stop to this idea of using facebook as a business tool? People will get fed up and go somewhere else. I think they are making the smart choice – you don’t just because your account was deleted.

    6: Knowing Joel, chances are he deleted his own account in an attempt to get some more free publicity. Has he got a product launch coming up? I wouldn’t be suprised….

    5:

  175. 1: Just because Joel Comm has been an Internet Marketer for years does not mean he is not a spammer. Ask yourself this. Why has Joel got 5000 friends? What is his main purpose for doing so? It all comes down to one thing – trying to sell more stuff.

    2: Joel Comm has not met everyone on his list. His list would be made up of many people whom he has never met and never has the intention of meeting. Facebook was created as a social network where friends and family can stay connected. Joel is using it predominantly as a business tool – this is not its intended purpose and he has found that out the hard way.

    3: There is no point whinging about having an account banned. Millions of people use Facebook everyday the way it was intended to be used and never have any problems. If your account has been banned them clearly you have not been using Facebook the way it was intended – for connecting with family and friends – NOT marketing your business.

    4: I applaud Facebook for trying to get rid of people who use the system for business purposes only. We get enough spam in our email and it seems we can’t go anywhere without having sales message shoved down our throat. Facebook should be somewhere people can go without having to be subjected to this same old rubbish.

    5: You ask where Facebook will be in five years time if they keep deleting people’s accounts who they think are abusing the system? Well where do you think Facebook will be in 5 years if they don’t put a stop to this idea of using facebook as a business tool? People will get fed up and go somewhere else. I think they are making the smart choice – you don’t just because your account was deleted.

    6: Knowing Joel, chances are he deleted his own account in an attempt to get some more free publicity. Has he got a product launch coming up? I wouldn’t be suprised….

    5:

  176. I have a Facebook page, but never did much with it because of this possibility hanging out there. Have heard about it for awhile and I don’t want to give my info to a company whose customer service sucks.

    When the “better than Facebook” alternative comes along and offers actual customer care – I’m in, and I’d even pay a bit each month for it. I’m done spending countless hours over months developing something that someone else (who I cannot even talk to one to one) could just erase my data from exisstence — errrrr.

    - Signed “Not a Facebook or a MySpace fan”

  177. I have a Facebook page, but never did much with it because of this possibility hanging out there. Have heard about it for awhile and I don’t want to give my info to a company whose customer service sucks.

    When the “better than Facebook” alternative comes along and offers actual customer care – I’m in, and I’d even pay a bit each month for it. I’m done spending countless hours over months developing something that someone else (who I cannot even talk to one to one) could just erase my data from exisstence — errrrr.

    - Signed “Not a Facebook or a MySpace fan”

  178. My account was also recently disabled for messaging too much, or too often, or something similar. The most annoying things about it are;

    a. I checked the terms of service and there’s nothing about too much messaging- only about advertising, spamming, and inappropriate material.
    b. There’s no mention anywhere of how much is too much messaging, apparently they can’t tell us ‘for security reasons’, or so I was told when I wrote to ask.

    The jailing idea is certainly a good one. At the very least, they could do what some other sites do, to enforce their apparent frequency limit on messaging- if someone’s messaging too much, inform that person that there’s a certain amount of time to be waited between messages, and tell them they have so-and-so seconds left before they can send another message.

  179. My account was also recently disabled for messaging too much, or too often, or something similar. The most annoying things about it are;

    a. I checked the terms of service and there’s nothing about too much messaging- only about advertising, spamming, and inappropriate material.
    b. There’s no mention anywhere of how much is too much messaging, apparently they can’t tell us ‘for security reasons’, or so I was told when I wrote to ask.

    The jailing idea is certainly a good one. At the very least, they could do what some other sites do, to enforce their apparent frequency limit on messaging- if someone’s messaging too much, inform that person that there’s a certain amount of time to be waited between messages, and tell them they have so-and-so seconds left before they can send another message.

  180. Incidents that occur such as this one, involving Joel Comm, a reliable & well respected Internet figure (among other communication modes) have a way of causing waves for themselves for years to come. Some providers, who were huge in the past are paying or have paid the price for their just plain, thoughtless, stupid actions that they justify through their own regulatory, lack of forethought, internal regulations book. Instead of seeing behind the violation to the what, why, who, when and where, they just made a blind decision and that’s that, or so they think. It may take time, but Patterns and Practices can live on to haunt, long after they are finally changed.
    A company I worked for a few years back told plaintiff’s counsel that the policy they wrote was only good for $1,000,000 and they wouldn’t pay anymore than that, ever! Even looking down the barrel of the so-called loaded gun they would not change their minds, despite the fact that they could have settled for $2,000,000. Ultimately the verdict was in excess of $15,000,000 and they were forced by the way the matter was handled into a position of probably owing the whole amount. That company is no longer in business some 7 years later. Gee, you think?
    I don’t wish anyone any malice, but Facebook ought to be more concerned than their standard “We will review it and get back to you” response. Personally I respect Joel even more now after I see the gentlemanly way he handled this.
    Good luck to you Joel.

  181. Incidents that occur such as this one, involving Joel Comm, a reliable & well respected Internet figure (among other communication modes) have a way of causing waves for themselves for years to come. Some providers, who were huge in the past are paying or have paid the price for their just plain, thoughtless, stupid actions that they justify through their own regulatory, lack of forethought, internal regulations book. Instead of seeing behind the violation to the what, why, who, when and where, they just made a blind decision and that’s that, or so they think. It may take time, but Patterns and Practices can live on to haunt, long after they are finally changed.
    A company I worked for a few years back told plaintiff’s counsel that the policy they wrote was only good for $1,000,000 and they wouldn’t pay anymore than that, ever! Even looking down the barrel of the so-called loaded gun they would not change their minds, despite the fact that they could have settled for $2,000,000. Ultimately the verdict was in excess of $15,000,000 and they were forced by the way the matter was handled into a position of probably owing the whole amount. That company is no longer in business some 7 years later. Gee, you think?
    I don’t wish anyone any malice, but Facebook ought to be more concerned than their standard “We will review it and get back to you” response. Personally I respect Joel even more now after I see the gentlemanly way he handled this.
    Good luck to you Joel.

  182. Yes, I know what it is like to have your account shut down with no apparrent warning and doing nothing apparently wrong, as I have with twitter and paypal. It seems to me that the bigger these already huge online companies get, the worse they treat their loyal users and the more faceless and arrogant they become. I agree with keeping your valuable data on your own hardrive and never trusting it to the like of these mammoth people munchers, guzzling us down for their own nourishment and spitting out our bones as it suits them. But rest assured, their gluttony will surely catch up with them and they will choke on their own fat. Remember, we as a mass are much bigger than all of them put together, and if we choose, together we can force them to their knees and make them serve us, as it should be, free or not. We should have user rights. Let’s start uniting as a world and demand a better one. Peace be with you all, now and always…

    Luc Agosti

  183. Yes, I know what it is like to have your account shut down with no apparrent warning and doing nothing apparently wrong, as I have with twitter and paypal. It seems to me that the bigger these already huge online companies get, the worse they treat their loyal users and the more faceless and arrogant they become. I agree with keeping your valuable data on your own hardrive and never trusting it to the like of these mammoth people munchers, guzzling us down for their own nourishment and spitting out our bones as it suits them. But rest assured, their gluttony will surely catch up with them and they will choke on their own fat. Remember, we as a mass are much bigger than all of them put together, and if we choose, together we can force them to their knees and make them serve us, as it should be, free or not. We should have user rights. Let’s start uniting as a world and demand a better one. Peace be with you all, now and always…

    Luc Agosti

  184. Once again Facebook proves itself to be run by children and pure EVIL. Half the personal data I have on there is fake, I don’t even trust them with my birthday. It’s fine for finding old high school friends or whatnot but I’ll probably never trust them enough to use it for anything else.

    It’s all too obvious that everyone else knows this also. People who get things done are all over on LinkedIn. Facebook is full of time wasters and barely worth logging into even if you’ve got lots of friends there.

  185. Once again Facebook proves itself to be run by children and pure EVIL. Half the personal data I have on there is fake, I don’t even trust them with my birthday. It’s fine for finding old high school friends or whatnot but I’ll probably never trust them enough to use it for anything else.

    It’s all too obvious that everyone else knows this also. People who get things done are all over on LinkedIn. Facebook is full of time wasters and barely worth logging into even if you’ve got lots of friends there.

  186. Crazy… Facebook beware. You just be the next Myspace, when something better comes along. Deleting info (read – content) is not a wise move either…

  187. Crazy… Facebook beware. You just be the next Myspace, when something better comes along. Deleting info (read – content) is not a wise move either…

  188. Watch this get “moderated”…

    CaptOliver Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    January 27th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Good for Facebook!! Go back to Myspace Joel Comm!

  189. Watch this get “moderated”…

    CaptOliver Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    January 27th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Good for Facebook!! Go back to Myspace Joel Comm!

  190. It’s hard for them to differentiate who’s a spammer, and who’s a marketer, or who’s just popular… which may end up being their downfall. Invest in priorities – In a time when people are cloning Facebook, and new social hubs are being formed, they need to take a lesson from Zappos.com, and focus on making sure their users are thrilled, and spreading joyous word of mouth… not talking crap about how they’ve had it, and are moving to _________ (Insert new hot social site here).

  191. It’s hard for them to differentiate who’s a spammer, and who’s a marketer, or who’s just popular… which may end up being their downfall. Invest in priorities – In a time when people are cloning Facebook, and new social hubs are being formed, they need to take a lesson from Zappos.com, and focus on making sure their users are thrilled, and spreading joyous word of mouth… not talking crap about how they’ve had it, and are moving to _________ (Insert new hot social site here).

  192. Don’t use Facebook for business, use it to create friendships and if these “friends” buy something from you then hey, that’s a plus!

    Seriously, Facebook is about as predictable as your job, it can be gone in a flash.

    Take the conversation off Facebook and over to phone and/or email as quickly as possible. This way if your account gets zapped, you’ll have a record of your communication.

    Expect Success,
    Shannon Denniston
    http://shannondenniston.com/twitter

  193. Don’t use Facebook for business, use it to create friendships and if these “friends” buy something from you then hey, that’s a plus!

    Seriously, Facebook is about as predictable as your job, it can be gone in a flash.

    Take the conversation off Facebook and over to phone and/or email as quickly as possible. This way if your account gets zapped, you’ll have a record of your communication.

    Expect Success,
    Shannon Denniston
    http://shannondenniston.com/twitter

  194. [...] of how many people one can really count as friends online continues. The web can make those circles of friends larger, but the debate stems mostly from the very personal ways in which we define [...]

  195. Facebook a social website that refuses to allow the user to be sociable….lol I have to laugh at a site that is self defeating. Yep I got kicked or disabled for posting maybe about 10 links and 25 comments to a friend in regards to that link. I agree they don't care because of the new users added every day, perhaps the same user that just got kicked. This site Facebook sucks and is abusive to it's users with draconian terms of use. I can't wait for the day they are hurting for users and then perhaps we all can tell Facebook to F off. I wish I had the resources to start another social networking site but, then again..

    All facebook is ..is a extension for Zynga games and other third party software, you can spam facebook all day long with post of your achievements from these third parties and their games, and nothing will be done. My page was filled with these post from these games and the feeds made the pages last less than a minute. Yet i post what i did, and I get kick…F facebook.

    I wonder if we could sue facebook..na not worth the effort.

  196. Bull..Facebook allows you to have this many friends and promote third party gaming that also promotes high memberships, such as mafia wars or any Zynga game software. Mafia wars allows you to have a unlimited mafia members, such as I with 1117. With this many members you tend to become friends with some, not all but enough to trigger the FB police to disable your account, due to the very game that facebook promotes. I am not salesman, marketer or anything related to it. As some have mentioned their rules in this regard are arbitrary and there is no SOP, facebook applies a invisible rule that users are unaware of as they see fit. obviously facebook has entrusted to much power to the admin clerks, and apparently they have deemed it necessary for themselves to become a faceless God. Facebook is obiviously abusive to there users, some one with the resources could sue Facebook and I would lay odds on that they would probably win.

  197. Too bad I haven't knew this before, the most famous social media sites is doing such things but why??? they should be considerate about this matter, thanks for informing us about this case like many others I want to know what action they would do about it.

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