Graceful Exit: facebook evicts Nakedjen

Excerpt from a tragic exit, facebook logoa story of online eviction from Facebook, without notice, merit, or recourse: 

All was definitely not well.

Facebook obliterated Nakedjen.

Obliterated.  Deleted.  Made me disappear. 

And they did it without any warning or even a simple email telling me that I had done something wrong.

My email to them asking what I might have done to cause such a brutal outcome was just met with an automatic reply telling me that I must be in violation of the TOS and to read it carefully.

Which I did.  Every single word.  Carefully.  There is absolutely no term or stipulation that I even came close to violating other than that my name is Nakedjen.  However, as I mentioned, that is MY name.  And it has been my name on Facebook since day one.  The email that I used for the service is even nakedjen@nakedjen.com  Could I be more clear or obvious?  I don’t think so.

What I also learned, while reading each and every word carefully, is that my account on Facebook is at will and can be terminated by Facebook at any time for any reason they deem “reasonable.”  Basically, our accounts are being hosted for free on their servers.  So this actually does make sense.  If someone in their offices wakes up today and decides that the word Naked is pornographic or even just decides that my photo of Buddha wearing a ski cap is offensive, that person can just hit the delete button and bye bye Nakedjen.

In addition, all content that is published by me (or anyone else) including photos, blog posts, and videos becomes the property of Facebook.  You may own it, but so do they because they are now hosting it on their servers and they have claimed rights to it in their TOS.

Nakedjen‘s full post challenges definitions of data “ownership”. She concludes:

This is a lesson in our digital rights and freedoms.  I know it may seem like a trivial thing.  A Facebook profile being deleted because I call myself Nakedjen.  However, if they can obliterate me (and my entire group of friends and family and all my files) just because I have Naked in my name, how long before they obliterate you because your name vaguely sounds Islamic?  Or Muslim?  Or even just American?

Think about it. 

1 comment to Graceful Exit: facebook evicts Nakedjen

  • wizodd

    Click contracts, like most 1-sided contracts (ones which you either take it or leave it) are written by attorneys to ensure:

    1) Their client has no responsibility that can be avoided.
    2) The other party has no rights.

    Since few read them, and you cannot negotiate them, the problem continues.

    I read a contract with a free software package a bit ago that had me promise to “neuter an ugly children I had” I of course agreeed, none of my children would dare be ugly–or any other parents.

    But it does show how meaningless these legal documents are to those agreeing to them–until the other side does something clueless.

    Haven’t looked, but I’ll bet most if not all of the social networking sites also take ownership of all material posted. And there are few sites in general which do not reserve the right to terminate for any or no reason at any time.

    Until enough people complain and more importantly, refuse to join, such sites, they will continue to exist and clone others.

    Legal language is one of the prime examples of boilerplate text–it’s difficult to write a good, fair and equal agreement, and it’s cheap to copy one that exist.

    The job title “comptroller” a psoistion which exists in many state governments, date to a typing error in the documents creating a “controller” in New York state. The legislation was copied verbatim by many other legislatures.

    Wanta change it?

    Go into completion under different rules and encourage people not to use sites or products with unreasonable contracts attached.

    Of course, you won’t have a lot of sitess of products you can use that way…certainly nothing by any of the Fortune 1000.