Daniel Solove, Social Networking Websites, Technology

Facebook Banishment and Due Process

Facebook logo MySpace Friendster Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgAs we mentioned in passing on Friday, we’ve been mysteriously banned from Facebook, the popular social networking website. Our account was disabled without notice or explanation. We have not been informed of the allegations against us that led to the suspension of our account, nor have we been given the opportunity to confront our accusers.
To be sure, the Bill of Rights does not apply to Facebook. But being kicked off the FB still makes us sad. We’re going through their appellate process now, but they’re taking their sweet time in disposing of our appeal.
Professor Dan Solove has some interesting thoughts on Facebook and due process over here. Also, if you use Facebook, you might want to check out this interesting post, which lists some reasons people get banished from Facebook. Some of the rules are so vague that you could end up violating them without even knowing it.
Update (1:25 PM): Yay!!! We’ve been reinstated. More details, after the jump.
Further Update (3/5/08): We wrote more about our Facebook expulsion for the New York Observer.

Here’s the message we just received from Facebook. It appears that some of you were correct in your suspicions as to why we got banned. It came as a bit of a surprise to us, though, since the conduct in question took place several weeks ago (which is why we had forgotten engaging in it).

Hi David,

We apologize for the delay in our response. Your account was disabled because you posted parts of a user’s profile to another website, which is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Use. These Terms state, “Except for your own User Content, you may not upload or republish Site Content on any Internet, Intranet or Extranet site or incorporate the information in any other database or compilation, and any other use of the Site Content is strictly prohibited.”

Your account has been reactivated, but we ask that you remove these reproduced sections and refrain from doing this again in the future. Please let me know if you have additional questions or concerns. Thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

User Operations

Facebook Banned Me! Worst. Week. Ever. [New York Observer]
Facebook Banishment and Due Process [Concurring Opinions]
13 Reasons your Facebook account will be disabled [GetSatisfaction.com]

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