facebook wants me to slow down

I was recently going through Facebook's recommended friends sending friendship requests, then I got this..

Facebook Hypocrisy (breastfeeding mom vs sexual objectification) The warning(s) state(s):

I have been warned for engaging in behavior that may be considered annoying or abusive.
Facebook systems determined that you were repeatedly using the same feature in a short period of time. Your activity caused your account to be flagged as potentially abusive.

Once you close your warning, you must significantly slow down or stop this behavior. Further misuse of site features may result in a temporary block or your account being permanently disabled.

This begged another question in need of an answer. Luckily, it was just above the first:

What are the limits?
Unfortunately, Facebook cannot provide any specifics on the rate limits that are enforced. Please know that the threshold at which you are warned is not a specific number, but rather determined by different factors, such as speed, time, and quantity.

Here’s a screen cap:

Facebook Security Check Warning

I tried to find a reasonable explanation to this “warning”. I have been following facebook recommendations for quite a while and never got this warning. Hence, it must have been determined by something relatively recent. There are two recent events:

  1. I wanted to create a contest  for one of my Facebook pages and have Facebook as one of the avenues of contact.  In the process, a link to “contact a Facebook Ad Specialist” appeared and I clicked it. This happened a few weeks ago but I’ve never been contacted by anyone.
  2. On one of my other blogs I wrote an article about the Anti-minarets vote in Switzerland. I thought the article was quite balanced but nonetheless, it generated a long and augmentative response signed by one “Stefan Metzeler”. That response was decidedly unfriendly, with statements such as:
    Anyone who thinks that it is even remotely possible to achieve co-existence between liberty and Islam is either totally ignorant or a fool. (…) Anyone who doesn't see that is exactly like those who didn't understand the threat of Communism or Nazism in the 1920/30s.
    Before responding to everything at large I googled his name and the very first hit was a link to his FB profile. I sent him a friendship request. It is quite possible that he marked me as spam, but I have no way of knowing it.

“Friending” people is not only a normal human activity, but the core of Facebook networking. The “guidelines” published by Facebook suggest completely arbitrary “enforcement” and furthermore, since they don’t bother responding to queries, it is unlikely that there would be any avenue for appeals in case of abusive decisions.

In the brave new world of Social Networks, restrictions on the “rate of friending” are idiotic and the equivalent of domicile arrests imposed by dictatorships on dissidents. There is, unfortunately, no way to determine facebook (or google, for that matter) to provide a level of customer service consistent with their dominance of their respective market segments. Sadly, we’ll have to put up and shut up if we want to continue to exist on their networks, even though we have no idea what the “crime” was.

E pur si muove, mofos!

Sources / More info: facebook, fb-help-warnings, alibinto-swiss, yt-facebook

Disclaimer: I do not know if publishing a screencap from my facebook account contravenes any contract / EULA. I think that it shows only photos that were made public by others, otherwise fb should not be showing it to me until a friendship was established. If, however, your photo appears there and would rather not have it there, as a courtesy, I might decide to remove it provided that you contact me in a polite manner.


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