Banned Union Organizer Back on Facebook

01/25/2008 - 10:11pm
by nominateducate at UnionReview

Although candidates running for president, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, each boast tens of thousands of friends on the social networking site, Facebook threw Blackadder off for making too many friends on the site.

Within nano-minutes of Blackadder’s ban, a “Free the Blackadder One” group was created on Facebook, and quickly became so popular, it reached the 1,000 friends mark. According to Facebook rules, once a group exceeds 1,000 members, Facebook turns off the e-mail feature and members can no longer be contacted.

John Wood, a dedicated unionist from the United Kingdom who organized the Free the Blackadder One site, urged people to e-mail Facebook customer services about Blackadder’s treatment. Labourstart played a big part in getting the page back up, as Blackadder is one of their correspondents. Jan.24th Blackadder was allowed back on the site and is discussing the situation on his Facebook page.

As Lindsey Beyerstein writes on Alternet:

So far, nobody is alleging that the ban was politically motivated. The Facebook Terms of Use stipulate that Facebook is for personal non-commercial use only-that line is blurry for people like Blackadder who effectively make friends for a living.

In fact, Facebook is full of professional activists and organizers plying their trade openly. These organizers come from across the political spectrum. Facebook hosts thousands of politically-oriented groups. It seems odd that Blackadder would be singled out for the content of his profile.

Apparently, it’s not uncommon for users to get banned for adding too many friends. The tech blog Scobelizer reported last year that Facebook engineers imposed a 5,000-friend limit on all users because the system isn’t designed to handle such large sets of contacts.

But as Beyerstein wonders:

[T]he question remains: Why did Facebook kick Blackadder out, instead of just regulating his friending? By disabling the account, Facebook has deprived Blackadder of a potentially valuable contact lists and whatever else he may have uploaded.

(We’ve got an AFL-CIO Facebook page—sign on!)

Read the original story at The AFL-CIO WebBlog - written by Tula Connell

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