Home Banned on Facebook: Facing, Booking and Poking [UPDATED]

Banned on Facebook: Facing, Booking and Poking [UPDATED]

When Frank Anthony Polito’s new book, “Lost in the ’90s,” goes on sale next week, he will think twice about promoting it on Facebook.

That’s because Facebook’s new user terms, which went into effect last week, ban the use of the word “book.” Facebook is trying to protect its trademarks and wants to curb the use of “book” as a verb for connecting with friends on Facebook, but Polito is worried his page may be targeted as violating the new terms.

“For Facebook to tell me that I can’t use the word ‘book’ – as in ‘check out my new book,’ which is something I’m posting all the time – is just plain ridiculous,” Polito said. “I can’t tell you how many writers I know who use Facebook to promote their books.”

The new policy also restricts how members use the words “face” and “poke,” according to CNET’s Dara Kerr. We’ve asked Facebook for comment and will update as soon as we hear back.Update: Facebook declined comment.

For Polito, it wouldn’t be the first time a book has gotten him in trouble with the social network. The fan page for his first book, “Band Fags,” was temporarily pulled down in 2010 for violating Facebook’s service terms. The page had been up for almost two years before Facebook disabled it.

“The email I received from FB stated that I had violated the company’s terms by using ‘offensive’ language. After a few days, the page was reinstated, and I received word that taking it down was a mistake on Facebook’s part,” Polito said. “Obviously some robot went through, saw the word ‘fag’ and didn’t bother to check the context.”

The new changes seem extreme but they’re not much of a departure from previous Facebook policies. And if you have logged into your Facebook account since Friday, you have already agreed to the new policy.

“Since Facebook owns the entire network, they technically can ban any user for any reason. Though I doubt they would take such actions as banning someone for saying they’ll ‘book’ a friend, this highlights one of the potential problems of any closed network,” said Michael Hussey, CEO of PeekYou and PeekAnalytics.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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