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Monday, March 03, 2008

Facebook and Due Process

Over at Co-op, Dan Solove mentions that our mutual friend, Dave Lat, from Above the Law, has been booted off, somewhat inexplicably, Facebook.  I noticed this a few days ago also and was sad to hear about Dave's plight (relatively speaking!), since he was a very active user.  Dan seems to think there's been a Kafkaesque turn of events here. But it might be the explanation is more apparent. Here's what Facebook's FAQ includes:

Your account was disabled because you violated Facebook’s Terms of Use, to which you agreed when you first registered for an account on the site. Accounts can either be disabled for repeat offenses or for one, particularly egregious violation. Facebook does not allow users to register with fake names, to impersonate any person or entity, or to falsely state or otherwise misrepresent themselves or their affiliations. We do not allow users to send unsolicited or harassing messages to people they don’t know, and we remove posts that advertise a product, service, website, or opportunity.

Maybe Lat's profile was taken down because it was a vehicle for, among other things, spreading awareness of his various websites, including AbovetheLaw.com. Of course, if that's the case, countless other profiles (including my own and the new Prawfsblawg group) should be removed too, so it's more a matter of arbitrary enforcement than lack of fair notice.  But even that isn't exactly right. As Solove notes, Facebook reserves the right to take down anyone's profile for any reason, so perhaps there is some fair notice too: they're telling you not to develop any reliance interests in your profile on Facebook.  A pretty asinine way to build trust with the public. I wonder if anyone on Barack Obama's team is having the same problem for promoting Obama's website on Facebook? Probably not...

UPDATE: Lat's been reinstated. Woohoo.

Posted by Administrators on March 3, 2008 at 09:34 AM in Blogging | Permalink

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Comments

well email accounts also often have terms saying that they can diactivate and suspended your account-and bounce back emails from enetering your box while its suepeded...for any reason.

but lots of people rely like crazy on their email for notification of credit card payments; business contacts; messages from family etc. its fair notice..but its really tough when your account is suspended on fridcay by a bot..and you cant get it reactivated till Tuesday because of a Monday holiday..and once you call..it turns out you hadn't done anything wrong and it was a mistake

Posted by: george weiss | Mar 3, 2008 8:00:09 PM

well email accounts also often have terms saying that they can diactivate and suspended your account-and bounce back emails from enetering your box while its suepeded...for any reason.

but lots of people rely like crazy on their email for notification of credit card payments; business contacts; messages from family etc. its fair notice..but its really tough when your account is suspended on fridcay by a bot..and you cant get it reactivated till Tuesday because of a Monday holiday..and once you call..it turns out you hadn't done anything wrong and it was a mistake

Posted by: george weiss | Mar 3, 2008 7:59:39 PM

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