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A Facebook Ban for Dummies Man

Submitted by Chris on Wednesday, 11/21/074 Comments

Like many companies, we have been dipping our toe into the social applications waters with some of our brands. Our Wrox brand has a Facebook Group and a Twitter Stream, and until recently our iconic ambassador of our For Dummies series, Dummies Man, had his own Facebook profile.

Collegaue Ellen Gerstein, who had been managing the Dummies Man Facebook profile, was recently alerted that Dummies Man was banned from using the social networking site and all evidence of him had been purged.

Your account was disabled because you violated Facebook’s Terms of Use, to which you agreed when you first registered for an account on the site. Accounts can either be disabled for repeat offenses or for one, particularly egregious violation.

Facebook does not allow users to register with fake names, to impersonate any person or entity, or to falsely state or otherwise misrepresent themselves or their affiliations.

I think this is the beginning of a very intersting discussion. We didn’t impersonate anyone - we are Dummies Man, and he was only on Facebook as a goodwill ambassador for the brand. As Ellen says,

Over the months since, Dummies Man has been friending people, commenting on profiles and fan pages, and benignly exploring the site. It wasn’t a huge organized marketing campaign, more a way for us to dip a toe of the brand into the social networking waters.

Perhaps the profile could be considered as advertising a product, which may be the rub. I wonder if this precludes other well-known brand ambassadors from having identities on Facebook? I see that the Michelin Man has a page. I wonder if Disney approached Zuckerberg about a Mickey Mouse profile what the response would be.

What do you think? Should brands be allowed to have Facebook profiles?

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4 Comments »

  • Ellen Gerstein said:

    Here’s another one - how come Steve Jobs has a Facebook account? Yes, he’s Fake Steve Jobs, but still! He’s impersonating someone. I am SO writing to Facebook on Monday.

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537363409&hiq=jobs%2Csteve

  • Morgan Ramsay said:

    What do you think? Should brands be allowed to have Facebook profiles?

    They can. Check out Facebook Pages.

  • Chris (author) said:

    Hi Morgan,

    Yes I know about Facebook Pages, but those are not the same as profiles. You are right in that this might actually be the way we end up going, but its too bad that Facebook forces this type of distinction.

  • Ellen Gerstein said:

    We have set up a Dummies Man page, but Chris, you’re right, it’s not the same thing as a profile. You don’t get to do the same things. And someone PLEASE explain why Fake Steve Jobs gets a profile and Dummies Man can’t?!?

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