Saturday, August 11, 2007

Banned for Life 2

There's an interesting discussion of Facebook's hairtrigger banning system over at the Huffington Post. It was brought to my attention by a comment on my previous post by Huffington Post contributor Ann Handley, though it looks to me like the link she included in her comment didn't register correctly in the comment box. So here it is:

Too Popular for Facebook?

I'm not sure what to make of it all yet, though I find it interesting that my case seems to be part of a broad pattern by Facebook. My guess is that this issue will bubble up in the near future as more people get caught in this. One of the things that has made Myspace an enduring institution is that they seem to be more tolerant of business, journalism and other unusual uses and they seem to spend the time and money to police the site with some nuance and judgment, where, if Ann is to be believed, Facebook simply pulls the plug on a user with relatively little discretion. I suspect this could hurt Facebook's longterm prospects.


Here's an interesting tale that explains a bit about Facebook's practice of spiking certain users:

Happy Hotelier banned from Facebook?

And here is the story from Tasnim who posted the comment below about his experience with Facebook. I don't see exactly how to link the post directly from his blog, so I will repeat it verbatim (with apologies to Tasnim):

July 26, 2007: Sixth Anniversary of the Princeton Summer Journalism Program/Back on Facebook

So, I’ve officially been banned from Facebook.

Sucks, really. But… it’s fair because they warned me before… and I never took it seriously. They said to stop sending the exact same message over and over again so I altered it and sent a “dear _____” (so technically different right?) message to everyone. It was for an event I was planning–I had to. People don’t check their e-mail!

But I’m almost happy that they didn’t give me another chance. It’s like they KNEW this was going to kill my time. One less thing to deal with in college.

A week (exactly 7 days) without facebook. What an interesting experiment. I got through Harry Potter zippity-fast and got my application essays and reading assignments for Princeton out of the way. Now, it’s for real. Facebook was a pretty big and obsessive/addictive part of my life. That phase has ended. yay?

Edit: I know, I suck! I made another one. One week was apparently too long.

Forgot to mention! First time on the highway today. What a thrill. :


Tasnim said...

Crazy stuff!
I use it for reporting as well!

I decided I couldn't live without it though.. it is a NECESSITY for journalists.

The Facebook people actually wrote back and explained that it's because I sent the same message multiple times which equals "SPAM" in their mind. (AND also a violation of their contract)- did you ever read it? They gave me a second chance but I screwed that up (i.e. didn't take it seriously) so now cannot join the Princeton network because that e-mail is banned.

I remade an account(sshh!)with a different address but lost close to a 1,000 friends I had made.

Sean Scully said...

I didn't get much of a warning at all, and certainly no second chance. I got a notice that I had been flagged as spam and there was an ongoing investigation. I appealed and requested an explanation (which I never got). In the midst of the process, they cut me off completely (which is weird, since I had done nothing at all on the site in the meantime - I hadn't even logged in because I didn't want to click the box that popped up requiring me to acknowledge that I had been cautioned about Spam). I also set up another profile with another email address. But I made the mistake of mentioning that fact to the lovely Pam at the Facebook appeals department. And she immediately spiked that profile also.

Tasnim said...

oh no! You shouldn't have mentioned that...!

Why not try a different e-mail...?

Also, I'm a girl...

Sean Scully said...

Oops, my mistake, Ms. Tasnim...