Plaxo’s Mistake Costs Scoble His Facebook Account

There’s a storm a brewin’ in the Bay Area today, and it’s not just those rain clouds coming their way! For those following the Twitter Storm, and Scoble’s blog, Scoble was banned from Facebook today due to some testing he was doing with an unreleased version of Plaxo Pulse. While Scoble is understandably upset, I think he is unfairly putting the blame on Facebook.

In the book, we quote a point in the Terms of Service which says that you “[can’t] use automated scripts to collect information from or otherwise interact with the Service or the Site;” It would appear that Scoble might be better off blaming those at Plaxo that he trusted to have read that before giving him a script that explicitely violates the agreement. I think Scoble’s blame of Facebook is somewhat unfair. I hope Plaxo has apologized profusely to Scoble!

Here’s what I think Facebook should do in the future, now that another publicity nightmare is ensuing:

  1. Of course, they should reinstate Scoble’s account – maybe a slap on the hand with an explanation for the rule if you still can’t allow that practice, but Scoble’s account should have never been disabled in the first place!
  2. Whitelist Scoble, and any other A-list blogger from all your disable scripts! – Do this now! Scoble is not the first, and I guarantee won’t be the last if you keep doing this!
  3. Work with Plaxo on an acceptable solution to the problem Scoble is trying to address – this could be an excellent opportunity to calm the waters, work with the two parties, and solve an issue of one of your biggest users and supporters
  4. Disable the 5,000 limit for all those whitelisted above – Twitter has exceptions to their API and request limits, why can’t Facebook? All those generating serious traffic to Facebook should be treated as royalty IMO. Scoble deserves much better treatment.

What I think will come of all of this is I think something will finally be done to address some of the biggest issues facing Facebook today. I think finally some sort of Export method will be allowed for contacts (with privacy limits, I’m sure!). I also think the 5,000 friend limit will finally be lifted for Scoble, and the traffic on his site will more than double over today and as the situation unfolds.

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Jesse Stay has been a pioneer in the space of social media marketing since before it was called "social media marketing". Originally a software developer, Jesse built a tool called which helped brands like Pepsi, Brittany Spears, and MC Hammer grow their social media presence, and before he knew it brands were coming to him for help to grow their presence in very unique ways. His tool was featured on almost every tech blog and even mainstream news sites like New York Times, Techcrunch, and Mashable. Jesse also spent a brief period working FOR Facebook, Inc., helping them to build out their documentation to help companies integrate Facebook Connect into their websites and mobile apps. Jesse took his skills and helped the LDS Church kick off most of its social media programs. While there he helped launch the award-winning "I'm a Mormon" marketing campaign with global reach worldwide in the millions of views and followers. Jesse established new global programs at the Church to further grow its reach amongst both members and non-members of the Church, working with every department of the Church, also including entities like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University. He also helped the Church navigate its voice and presence during the Mitt Romney Presidential campaign due to the significant attention the Church was getting at the time. He established the social media advertising techniques and strategies employed at Deseret Digital Media growing over 20 million fans across their news properties in just 6 months, and was featured on AdWeek for his success. As founder and Principal of Stay N Alive, Jesse has developed very unique techniques in social media advertising to help organizations grow presences, within months on minimal budgets, into hundreds of thousands of highly relevant and engaging fans and followers. He designed and teaches social media advertising at LDS Business College. He has helped grow sales, and has a belief that yes, you CAN measure social! Jesse has been featured as one of 10 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter (next to Biz Stone and Ev Williams, founders of Twitter) by Entrepreneur magazine. Jesse has written 9 books on the topic of social media marketing and development, including Google+ Marketing For Dummies and Facebook All In One For Dummies, and eats, lives, and drinks social media with a personal combined presence of over 600,000 followers on his personal social profiles.

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