Thursday, June 3, 2010


A friend was complaining about Facebook to me today. He was asking people to be friends, using the suggestions that Facebook itself gives you on the right hand side of your screen. He plays a lot of the games provided on Facebook and they require you to have a lot of friends to make the most of the games. After sending out 20-30 requests he got a message saying he was suspended for breaking the rules. No rule was cited. No contact address to find out what happened, or appeal it. From what he could find out, from their less than useful FAQ and talking to people, his crime was ... sending out too many friend requests. Needless to say he was pissed off.

I had something similar happen to me a year or more ago. I was collecting friends to help me out with some of the games I was playing. Facebook is a social networking system. The idea is to make as many friends as you can. Many of the games on Facebook REQUIRE you to have lots of friends. For example with Mafia Wars you need to have the max of 500 or you are screwed. For other games, like Social City, the more friends you have the more you can expand. If you don't have enough friends you can't expand.

So, everything is geared towards you collecting friends. Yet, you get punished for making friend requests. Even if you are ONLY using the people that Facebook itself suggests to you as friends. You have no recourse to anything. No appeal. You can't even contact someone to find out exactly why or how you "broke the rules". Kind of stupid if you ask me.

The whole point of a social networking site is for you to meet people, in the case of Facebook "make friends". The more the merrier. The goal of the games is to get you to make more friends in order to play the games. It seems pretty fucking stupid to punish people for doing that. Now we aren't talking people spamming out 100's of people a day. We are talking about people responding to the suggested friends that FACEBOOK sends them. If they should stop making requests maybe just maybe Facebook should STOP suggesting people until it is ok? That would take very little code to implement.

If you are going to punish someone for breaking the rules it would be nice if you at least TOLD THEM EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID WRONG! It would also be nice if people were provided a way to find out what happened and appeal it if they can.

Things like this just turn people off of places like Facebook. After my encounter with this I stopped playing 90% of the games I was. I am down to 2 "social ones" now and pondering getting rid of them too. One because it is just getting boring and the other because I will have to start making "game friends" in order to keep expanding, which means playing, it. When you get anal policies being enforced with no recourse it makes it easy to just Fuck It and walk away. If enough people do that it will start hurting the games and Facebook where it counts, the pocket book.

I am not saying boycott Facebook I am just saying if it stops being fun and there is too much bull shit then you have to wonder if it is worth using the site for anything but talking with REAL friends or leaving.

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