Scoble gets banned from facebook

03Jan08

Uber-blogger Robert Scoble has had his Facebook account disabled. Normally, this wouldn’t cause much of a stir but in this case Facebook will inevitably get plenty of coverage for all the wrong reasons.

Firstly – let me emphasise that Robert did break the terms of service by “running a script that got them to keep me from accessing my account“. However, at a time when Facebook is no longer the golden child and is being attacked in many ways (be it from their advertising strategy or through the emergence of competitors such as Google and LinkedIn) – their need to stay ahead of the game remains essential for their success in what is undeniably a very fickle market.

Scoble is without doubt one of Facebook’s main supporters – so much so that he previously stated that if people wanted to get in touch with him they should do it only through FB (not email!). What surprises me then is how little regard Facebook has for their best customers. In all likelihood it was an automated mail that was sent to Scoble that blocked his account but nevertheless, there should have been a human element attached to it. Call it a flag on his account before doing anything.

The lesson here is that in the service economy word of mouth, reputation and trust is everything (although not necessarily in that order). Facebook should be looking after their best clients as through them more will come. Surely in this instance a nice email to Scoble asking him to stop using his script or working out a way that the whole community could share from this innovation would have been better.

Since starting this post – Robert has updated his blog with some interesting points:

UPDATE: Rodney Rumsford, who runs the FaceReviews Blog about Facebook says that all traces of me have been already removed from Facebook too.

UPDATE2: Tonight I learned about DataPortability.org and signed my name to that effort.

Will be interesting to see how this develops…

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