You Break The Rules In My House, You Leave My House. Facebook, Scoble and Where The Line Is.
So how do you add to the conversation when there are so many views already floating around the blogosphere. I’m taking about the latest storm in a teacup, namely Robert Scoble being banned from Facebook for breaking the Terms of Service. So let me state this before elaborating.
You break the Terms of Service, you pay the consequences.
Yes Robert is an edge case, yes he can generate a lot of blog/PR flak, but the bottom line is he ran something that I’m damned sure he knew was against Facebook’s rules. Namely a script to take your contact data from Facebook to another service (which turned out to be Plaxo)
Yes there are arguments about who owns the data and exporting contacts (sorry, reclaiming your personal social graph – must get with the lingo), but we all know that Facebook is banking on the data staying in the system for them to turn a profit. We all know they don;t want it leaving. And we all know that there are certain lines Facebook don’t want you to cross. If they make an exception in this case, then they are on a much slippiery slope than they were before.
The fun thing is this is one of the few things that could draw attention to Facebook’s policies, and promote more open initiatives for ‘social data’ (at this point I’d expect Marc Canter to pitch in…). In every horror movie there’s someone we all relate to who’ll be the sacrificial lamb to show us the evil. Given Harry Dean Stanton isn’t in the Web 2.0 circles, I guess (yet again?) that Scoble is our innocent Damsel.
Unless of course Plaxo have cooked up this ruse with Scoble to promote the script, which is for importing data to Plaxo Pulse from Facebook… stranger conspiracies have happened.
Update: As expected… Marc Canter’s take. Enjoy