A Canadian union organizer has been banned from Facebook for making too many friends.
CUPE organizer/Labour Start correspondent Derek Blackadder's foray into labor-related social networking was rudely interrupted by a warning from Facebook saying that he was making too many friends. Blackadder ignored the warning.
John of jonninit explains:
Derek got a note from the good book, telling him he was trying to
add too many friends, and should calm down a bit, or else. Now as a
union organiser, he’s quite likely to want to add lots of friends -
it’s kind of what he does. So he waits a bit and tries again, and is
told he can’t add any more at the moment and to wait and try later.
Fair enough. He waits a bit more and tries again, same message. By now,
he’s probably frothing at the mouth and muttering “must organise, must
organise”, so he has another go to see if the coast is clear, and
promptly gets himself a ban.
That being a ban from Facebook itself - no more profile, no access to the stuff he’s built up, no appeal.
It's not clear exactly how many people Blackadder "friended" during his online organizing stint, or how quickly he racked up the contacts.
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 5000-friend limit on all users because the system isn't designed to handle such large sets of contacts.
Still, the 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.
Blackadder and his many friends are taking the ban in stride. Naturally, they've started a Blackadder solidarity Facebook group. As of one o'clock this afternoon, over 600 people have joined the group to lobby for Blackadder's reinstatement.
I guess it's sort of backhanded compliment for an organizer to be too connected for Facebook.