I am Spartacus! Erm. I am Jon Swift!

November 1, 2007

social media

Jon Swift received the following email from Facebook the other day.


Fake accounts are a violation of our Terms of Use.
Facebook requires users to provide their real first and last
names. Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to reactivate this account
for any reason. This decision is final.

Thanks for your understanding,

Customer Support Representative

Whoops! Needless to say, Jon blogged about this and attracted the attention of Robert Scoble, Dennis Howlett and Steve Rubel to name but a few.

It worked. The next email he had from Facebook reads as follows

Hi Jon,
Upon further review, we have decided to reactivate your account. Our Terms of Use, to which all users agree when they first sign up for the site, stipulate that you must not “impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity.” However, since others on the site seem to know you by this name, and since you don’t appear to be using the name to impersonate or to hide your identity, we have determined that you are not violating these Terms. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Please let me know if you have further questions or concerns.
Thanks for your understanding,
Customer Support Representative

Remember Friendster? Over at WebProNews yesterday Robert Scoble asked Will Facebook Get “Friendstered”? and notes the following similarities between the two sites.

1. They didn’t take care of PR and didn’t take care of bloggers. Hmmm, Facebook is doing exactly the same thing. Several people at the dinner tonight noted that Facebook hasn’t responded to claims that Facebook’s employees are spying on data that the public doesn’t have access to. And that’s just one PR complaint.

2. They kicked people out that they didn’t like. Hmmm, Facebook is doing exactly the same thing.

3. They didn’t respond to new competitors who took away their coolness. Facebook? They are about to meet their biggest competition yet.

Facebook faces a mountain of expectation now. Could that be its undoing?