I had recently learned that facebook has been disabling accounts on a wide basis in these past months. This appears to be the case when they discreetly added rate limits to their platform in their recent update package. Some users were disabled simply for sending out too many facebook messages, wall posts or discussion posts at any time, which is automatically considered spam. A few others were simply disabled for attempting to change their account names.
So far this mass shutdown has affected the “heavy users” or those who frequently post on group discussions. In large groups with heavy activity a user can produce about 10-50 posts in less than an hour, which is flagged as abuse or spam in the facebook automated bots. It really seems odd that facebook would impose post limits when the ability to socialise in a wide setting seems to be the SNS’s ultimate goal.
Plus, this heavy activity allows Facebook to acquire loads of data that can be used to mine for information that could be applied to marketing agencies, ongoing platform development, and even sent to the CIA (Facebook’s original backers). It seems odd they would just penalise a wide array of users just for helping them generate information and users through their actions.
After doing a blog search on google with the keywords “facebook disabled account”, I found several posts just from the month of August discussing the disabled accounts. Many of these accounts were largely due to facebook being unable to handle too many messages, too many wall posts, or discussion posts. A few of these disabled accounts involve developers creating applications that were just sucking up capacity in the facebook platform. So after hours if not months of work creating a killer facebook application, a developer suddenly learns his account is deactivated because his facebook app was so well-received.
Note: There is no customer service telephone number for this organisation, and my calls and subsequent messages to their Palo Alto headquarters went unreturned. We are imprisoned by the current facebook monopoly. All of the contact information that we ever need is on this site and so much more information too.
Here is how one blogger summed up the problem:
Oh well. I doubt anyone will get to read or see this because my blog won’t be fed into my mini-feed… because I don’t even have an account let alone a mini-feed right now! Come to think of it – that’s one other lesson to learn from this…. how many email addresses of your friends that you have found on facebook do you have backed up? Im guessing it’s a similar percentage to me… Maybe if you read this, you should also take out of it that your next ‘note’ posted on facebook, is to ask them to all send you their proper emails to have as a back-up outside of the Facebook wall.
It’s a problem when users are suddenly disabled without real warning. Sometimes random messages will flash saying you are abusing or spamming the group boards, yet all members are responding within seconds in an active thread. How can this be spamming, when a topic is generating such enthusiasm, adding to the discussion, and populated by nearly a quarter million users? The worst part about facebook’s arbitrary and uncoordinated disabling of accounts is that none of these users are even aware there are limits on using facebook, especially when it was constantly marketed as a social network that encourages activity..
Here is something another blogger said about all of this:
Dear Bloggers, and the Facebook Staff
I am somwhat tired of this charade.
So, this is a message to Facebook and the Facebook staff, start to consider that perhaps you are destroying countless hours of work, and are now starting to agitate a large number of powerful users.
You have limited time to re-active those accounts that you have mindlessly disabled before you will encounter a rather ferocios shit-storm like you have never encountered before. Trust me, we all just want to be happy, but your mechanistic failure to adapt will leave you with a gaping hole.
Never underestimate the power of large groups of angry people
Here are some other blogs that go futher on the problem
http://nthambazale.blogspot.com/2007/08/my-facebook-account-is-back.html – A university professor details the problems he had when he was trying to find information on facebook
http://chrisbrinkworth.com/digital/media/?p=17 – A Digital Media marketer is abruptly disabled after sending out group messages to members.
http://www.sidneymorsels.com/2007/08/people-vs-facebook-final-showdown.html – A writer details his problems dealing with Facebook Customer Support and for being disabled just for reverting to his real name
http://prez.wordpress.com/2006/10/16/facebook-has-a-post-limit/ – A blogger’s genuine shock on learning posting limits actually exist on facebook
http://thatkathryngirl.typepad.com/that_kathryn_girl/2007/08/why-is-facebook.html – A professionals shock over network limits and learning his colleagues dealings in disabled accounts
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-handley/too-popular-for-facebook_b_59105.html – A Huffington post exploring how a facebook user was unjustly banned just for inviting his contacts to join facebook