Friday, 21 June 2013

A Slap in the Face Book

A Slap in the Face Book

By Jeff Schechter

Last year, Facebook became the Number 1 social networking site in the world, passing up MySpace.  As such, it is used extensively for networking, especially amongst online marketers.  I use Facebook, along with Twitter and YouTube, as an important piece of my social media strategy.  I have made many great contacts on Facebook, and usually log in a couple of times a day.

Early one Sunday morning, I woke up and sleepily wandered into my home office.  I had a few messages on Facebook, so I tried logging in, but was shocked to receive this message...

* "Your Facebook account has been disabled for violation of our Terms of Service.  If you feel that your account has been wrongly disabled, please click here."


My throat got dry.  I started getting sweaty.  I had made almost 3,000 friends already.  Without an account, I would not be able to direct people to my videos, articles, and press releases.  I would not be able to network with my contacts.  I wouldn't be able to joke around with my friends!  This was NOT good.

I had to do something...QUICKLY.  I started sending emails....first to the dispute center, then to the help desk.  Eventually, I received an automated email response:

* "We have received your email.  We will review your request and get back to you shortly."

That's it?  Ouch.  Well, at least a glimmer of hope.  So, I waited a few days.  Nothing.  So, I waited another few days.  Still nothing.  This was really beginning to frustrate me.

After some research on Facebook's site, doing some searches online, and through friends on Twitter, I learned that mine was not an isolated case.  Many of the Social Media sites have been disabling accounts.  I recently had some friends...fellow marketers, who had their YouTube accounts shut down.  You can read about it on my main site.  It's called "Playing Nice With YouTube."

It seems to be the norm that Social media sites simply disable your account without warning, leaving the user bewildered.   They have no regard for the user, and their Terms of Service (TOS) leaves you with little to no recourse.  In most cases, their reasons for disabling are legitimate....users are posting copyrighted material, promoting illegal activities, or just not playing by the rules.  But this was different.  What had I DONE?

I finally sent a letter with an angry tone.  I think I may have even mentioned something about contacting my attorney.  Yuck.  I hate doing that, but I was DESPERATE.  Finally, after 3 WEEKS, I got an email stating the following:

* "Hi Jeff, Thank you for providing this information. Facebook has limits in place to prevent users from running programs that automatically scan the site for certain content. Although this was not the case in your situation, viewing or refreshing pages at a rapid rate may cause your account to be disabled. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide more information about this system. However, after reviewing your situation, your account has been reactivated. Please significantly slow down the rate at which you browse Facebook and refrain from violating any of Facebook's Terms of Use. You should also avoid using systems or products that automatically refresh Facebook pages. Further misuse of the site may result in your account being disabled again. We appreciate your cooperation going forward.  Thanks for your understanding,User Operations Facebook."

So apparently, my infraction was "using their site too heavily."  Yikes.  Of course, I'll never do THAT again.

From my research, here are the things that may keep you from getting banned on Facebook:

1.    Don't use a fake name.

2.    Don't join too many groups.

3.    Don't post too many messages on a wall or in a group.

4.    Don't friend too many people too fast.

5.    Don't lie about your education or employment.

6.    Don't poke too many people (seriously...get a life!)

7.    Don't advertise your app on wall posts.

8.    Don't use duplicate text in multiple messages (no cutting & pasting).

9.    Don't use the email client too heavily.

10.  Don't post offensive content.

11.  Don't use any scripts to scrape information from Facebook.

Of course, if you do get banned, your ONLY recourse is to email them.  Here are three email addresses that I would recommend:

disabled at facebookcom

appeals at facebookcom

info at facebookcom

The lesson here is BE CAREFUL.  If sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are an important part of your marketing strategy (and they should be), then take the time to actually READ the Terms of Service (TOS) for these sites.  Make sure you are playing by the rules.  Do not abuse your account.

So, if you don't want your face slapped, PLAY NICE.

"Are You Missing to Provide the Same Guidance to Your Dog"

"Are You Missing to Provide the Same Guidance to Your Dog

Jeff Schechter (or "Shecky" as his friends call him) is a 6-year veteran of Network Marketing. He loves teaching fellow Networkers how to rock their MLM!

Click here for all of the training you'll ever need to ROCK YOUR MLM. All of the information is Free!


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