Wednesday, January 02, 2008

How to get kicked off Facebook (a personal reflection)

Note: This post falls under the category of things you should NOT do . . . I am not writing a how-to manual, I promise. I just wanted to share with some of you how careful you have to be when building your network in a proprietary society.

I was in the "Making Friends" mode. I had several already, but having read "The Virtual Handshake," I realized that my network needed to be more diverse, with people from all continents, ideologies, and a variety of other "differences" that would add a rich contribution as we enter the coming year.

In this more "proactive" mode, I joined several of the groups that interested me. As I saw profiles that looked like they belonged to people with whom I could network, I clicked to add them as a friend. I included what I saw to be an appropriate comment relating to the reason I was offering my virtual hand in friendship and sent the invitation. I never planned this out on a calendar, but figure I probably took about an hour of my time to grow my network about once every two weeks. Periodically, Facebook would get tired of me before I did and the next time I clicked on "add a friend," I received a message that I was nearing my "limit." I took that as a sign to get on with some other productive activity.

Then one day I was adding friends and all of a sudden my profile died. I did not get a warning, I was simply redirected to a page that said my account was disabled and suggested I check out the Facebook 'Help' page (

The official word was that:

"Facebook has limits in place to prevent behavior that other users may find annoying or abusive. These limits restrict the rate at which you can use certain features on the site, including the rate at which you send friend requests. Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with the specific rates that have been deemed abusive.
Your account was disabled because you exceeded Facebook's limits on multiple occasions, despite having been warned to slow down."

So I stopped being proactive in my friending. I've timidly added a few since then, but only after messaging that confirmed this was the appropriate "next step." I must admit, this has me gunshy -- reminiscent of the times when a "friend of mine" wanted to ask that girl to dance but didn't want to face rejection.

There's more on this topic by Thor Mueller in 13 Reasons your Facebook account will be disabled.

Doc Searls had a recent post that observed "today’s “social networks” look like yesterday’s online services (remember the AOL community that allowed Internet access only with an AOL wrapper?). He noted that these social networking sites are still a walled garden . . . somebody’s private space. Unfortunately, they aren't OUR space, we are just renters in a huge development that has a boatload of private security guards that aren't willing (or maybe not able) to share the rules with us.

If you are more inclined to want to get kicked off of LinkedIn, take a look at Scott Allen's post on 9 Ways to Get Linked Out on LinkedIn.

And Jason Alba's post on Inviting People To LinkedIn And Getting Your Hand Slapped is another good, and timely read.

For a (short) bit of related video humor, check out My "Physical Facebook" (no., that's not me).

What do you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, this is terrible. Facebook needs to be stopped. There is an equivalent service run by google which somehow seems fairer. If you still need to use Facebook just create a new account. It’s the easiest way, you won’t be breaching terms and conditions because you only have one account working.

The other method is through their telephone and address.

The Google equivalent is called Orkut. Maybe it pays to join several community systems rather than one as a back up.

Let it be a lesson for all!