Scoble’s Facebook Account Reinstated: Did The Blogosphere Play Judge and Jury?

Posted Jan 4, 2008

Facebook has a knack for taking crap from the blogosphere every time something happens that a few users disapprove of. Users have complained about the news feed, Beacon, the “is” in the status message, and most recently: Robert Scoble being banned.

In the case of Scoble’s reinstatement, it is interesting because he is a high profile blogger that violated Facebook’s terms of services. Robert Scoble essentially attempted to scrub the data from Facebook and import it into Plaxo. Loren Feldman of 1938 Media expressed his sentiments below:

Below is the letter that Facebook sent to Scoble:

Hi Robert,

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

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


User Operations

Prior to Scoble’s ban, two Facebook groups were created related to the issue. One advocated Scoble’s account be returned to normal. The other was to keep him banned. Personally, I think it was a good move for Facebook to save face by reinstating Scoble, but it showed that they can be pressured by the media.

What are your thoughts?