Monday, November 22, 2010

Who UN-defines abusive? Bret Taylor, that's who. (Lamebook follow-up.)

This seems to be my day for follow-up posts. This is a follow-up to my 4:55 pm post Who defines abusive? Or why this post title that mentions won't show up in Facebook. It describes an inability to post the text string "" to Facebook, or to import content that includes that text string.

In one of my FriendFeed threads on the topic, FriendFeed user Bruce Lewis offered the following comment:

See Bret's comment:

This linked to the following message:

This is Bret Taylor, CTO of Facebook. I responded on the other thread (, but cross-posting here since it is largely about the same issue.

This was a mistake on our part. In the process of dealing with a routine trademark violation issue regarding some links posted to Facebook, we inadvertently blocked all mentions of the phrase "lamebook" on Facebook. We are committed to promoting free expression on Facebook. We apologize for our mistake in this case, and we are working to fix the process that led to this happening.

Both threads got into some extended discussions of why Facebook has such a facility in the first place and when it should and should not be applied, but it is good to see that Taylor was proactive regarding the matter.

When you have large influential blogs such as Empoprise-BI and TechCrunch questioning your actions, there are four possible steps that you can take:

  1. Address the issue, admit the critics were correct, apologize, and fix the problem.

  2. Address the issue, calmly explain why your stance was correct, and make no changes.

  3. Address the issue, call your critics a bunch of idiots, and make no changes.

  4. Don't address the issue.

Obviously critics prefer that the original decision be reversed, but many will respect you if you explain your rationale and recognize your critic's opinions (even if you don't agree with them).

And now you see why Facebook bought FriendFeed, rather than buying Cooks Source.
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