Facebook is known for how it deals with pornographic content and its stringent policy about pictures and shared content. One of the key factors to sustain the growth of the service is to ensure that the system is free from unpopular content. To that end, they have hired individuals to screen through all the flagged content and delete what they deem as inappropriate according to Facebook’s own rules and standards. That sometimes include people.
People that are considered to be a nuisance to the service or breach any of Facebook’s policies are immediately deleted and the reason for that is scandalized to the entire Facebook community. This is all done to ensure that the service doesn’t suffer the same fate as MySpace and its other predecessors which got swarmed with porn thus driving away professionals from their networks. Earlier, to a certain extent, the porn cops’ activities and judgments were based on actions and information that occurred within the Facebook platform and not on what happens to people’s real lives outside of Facebook but that seems to have changed recently.
A retired British miner has been banned from Facebook and had his profile deleted four times already after his conquests had reported him to Facebook. Basically, this guy claims to have bedded more than 1,500 women using online services. He is currently still on the social network posing as a women and trying to convert lesbians by giving them the man of their dreams. Now, whether you are repulsed, amused or indifferent to the story is irrelevant, the most pertinent part of the story for me was Facebook’s official statement on the issue
Facebook said: “Facebook is not the place to meet people you don’t know, it is about connecting and sharing with your existing friends.”
Really? I was under the impression that Facebook is a social networking site, and I’m entitled to add and interact with anyone who is willing to reciprocate. Otherwise, on what grounds would I be able to leverage my network beyond its current real life limits if I’m not supposed to approach and interact with those I don’t directly know? Under what pretense does Facebook make that statement if they are expecting their users to interact ONLY with the business and their representatives that they personally know?
Realistically speaking, they surely didn’t intend to make such a blanket statement about how Facebook is supposed to be used, but this brings into question the flip side of the story:
What is Facebook’s business deleting this man’s profile just because he’s promiscuous and using the service to sleep with a lot of women, what is next? Are we going to be deleting NRA members? Or maybe same-sex couples profiles?
It is absolutely not Facebook’s business to police its network based on anything that happens beyond the walls of its site. Users are creative and random in their usage of sites, and no one would have imagined that gamers would get an injection of old blood because of Facebook, so Facebook should embrace the various and varying usages of its service and draw the broad lines and allow people the freedom to make their own choices.
Do you think Facebook had the right to delete this man’s profile? Shouldn’t users be the ones who decide how to use the website rather than the website itself? Let us hear your thoughts.