Friday, July 15, 2011

(empo-utoobd) Before condemning Facebook's terms of service...

At the moment, this post from Michael Lee Johnson is being shared all over Google+. It begins as follows:

LOL: I recently ran a Google+ advertisement on Facebook that got all of my campaigns suspended. - Great.

Johnson reproduced the ad that he ran, which encouraged Facebook users with Google+ accounts to add him, and he also reproduced the message that he purported to have received from Facebook.

Your account has been disabled. All of your adverts have been stopped and should not be run again on the site under any circumstances. Generally, we disable an account if too many of its adverts violate our Terms of Use or Advertising guidelines. Unfortunately we cannot provide you with the specific violations that have been deemed abusive. Please review our Terms of Use and Advertising guidelines if you have any further questions.

Inasmuch as Johnson shared this on Google+, and since a vocal minority of Google+ users think that Facebook is about to go out of business because of the First Coming of Google+, it's not surprising that a lot of the comments are along the lines of "fACEBuK sUx d00d." Actually they're written in proper English, but the sentiment is certainly there.

But when I read the message that came from Facebook, I flashed back to another message - one that I had received a couple of years ago. Here's part of it:

We are unable to provide specific detail regarding your account suspension .... For more information on our what we consider inappropriate content or conduct ... please visit our Community Guidelines and Tips ....

Yes, it's remarkably similar. The service permanently disabled my account and didn't bother to tell me why.

And which service did this? YouTube - a Google property.

So before you start chanting "Google rules, Facebook drools," just bear in mind that a similar thing could happen to you. I haven't specifically read Google+'s Terms of Service, but if it has the same Terms of Service as other Google properties, there's a possibility that Johnson could have his Google account yanked also, without warning.

Think about it.

P.S. Johnson's ad paid off despite the suspension. A number of people, including myself, added him.

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