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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Scoble vs. Facebook, Scoble wins…unfortunately.

Earlier today, Robert Scoble posted the following note:

If you are trying to contact me on Facebook, please don’t. My account has been “disabled” for breaking Facebook’s Terms of Use. I was running a script that got them to keep me from accessing my account. I’m appealing. I’ll tell you what I was doing as soon as I talk with the developers who built what I was using and as soon as I talk with Facebook’s support (I sent an email in reply to the one below, but haven’t heard back yet).

Seems he broke Facebook's TOS by using a 3rd party software (Plaxo) to extract his 5,000 contacts into his Outlook contact manager.

Some folks applaud Facebook and their decision to lock his account down, while others claimed this was a PR nightmare for the company and demanded they reactivate his account. In the end, Facebook buckled and Robert's account is active once again.

Robert is a likable guy. But being likable does not give you the right to do whatever you want, whenever you want. He had agreed to the Facebook terms when he signed up for an account, he was fully aware of his rights. With all the platforms available to him, he could have chosen another social network. He didn't. He knew Facebook would give him the ability to build an audience quickly so he chose to deal with the TOS. Then he knowingly broke the TOS trying to extract his contact's data.

But my opinion doesn't count.

So we move on.

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