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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Harry Joiner got booted by Facebook after attempting to invite his 4,600 Gmail contacts to join. A good summary is on Huffington Post. I'd assume this'll hit main stream media early next week, first on Valleywag, and then into the Wall Street Journal. It does open up an interesting question; with the rise of Web 2.0 applications that encourage you to upload lots of information, what happens when they no longer want you? I rely on LinkedIn to keep in contact with a variety of people I used to work with...it's a bit scary to think about the established relationships that could have a significant amount of "static on the line" if free services of this type were cut off. Hopefully, Facebook will apologize, or they'll be looking at another "Jeff Jarvis/Dell" type incident.

[Updated] - I received this from Harry:
Hi Josh,

Thanks for the coverage on this. I know that many of your readers are Shop.org members and "Internet Retailer" subscribers, so I'll take a moment to clarify:

All I did was follow the instructions on the Facebook UI to invite my current contact list to join. Facebook never informed me of a limit. My understanding is that technology writer Robert Scoble has 4200 Facebook contacts — and last week, Mr. Scoble described Facebook as "the new Rolodex" and hyped its click-to-call compatibility with the iPhone.

Moreover, Facebook's email address inhaler slurped up every single Gmail address I had on file — which just happened to be 4600 and change. Facebook even served up hundreds of photos of my contacts who were already members.

Honestly, it appeared to me as if everything was cool when I hit SEND. It was only when Facebook's customer service rep gave me the boot in a misspelled email that I realized that I had been "F'd"

If Facebook had given me a limit, I would have obeyed it. No problem. I am a member in excellent standing on several online communities and social networks.

Note to Shop.org members: Even as this thing continues to gather steam in the blogosphere, Facebook has remained quiet on the matter. A mistake. Moreover, Facebook customer service was incredibly resolute about the permanence of their decision -- even though they never gave me a Warning or an opportunity to atone for my actions.

It was like getting an instant death penalty for speeding on an unmarked highway.

Kind regards,
Harry Joiner
As seen in "Internet Retailer" magazine

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Blogger Eric said...

Following on Harrys message, Im not sure why the "click to call" functionality of facebook is that big a deal. Skype has that same functionality regardless of where you are in the internet.

Eric (Harrys Brother)

9:05 AM  

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