Facebook’s lack of parliamentary procedure

Facebook has become a popular platform for public figures to reach out to supporters and fans. Presidential candidates, for instance, can use the hugely popular social-networking site to build official profiles and post updates from the campaign trail. The Facebook gods therefore frown on pranksters who attempt to impersonate celebrities by creating a fake profile. ...

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Facebook has become a popular platform for public figures to reach out to supporters and fans. Presidential candidates, for instance, can use the hugely popular social-networking site to build official profiles and post updates from the campaign trail. The Facebook gods therefore frown on pranksters who attempt to impersonate celebrities by creating a fake profile. They also encourage legitimate users to report alleged impostors in order to maintain the integrity of the site.

The trouble is, it's often difficult to determine whether a celebrity profile is indeed a fake. This is exactly what happened to British MP Steve Webb, who recently discovered that he had been locked out of his own account and had his profile removed from the site. Several e-mails to Facebook were able to convince the company that the 10-year member of the House of Commons was no impostor. (Facebook eventually reinstated his account and issued the MP an official apology for the confusion.)

I'm surprised that this type of thing doesn't happen more often. But Facebook, as far as I can tell, does a pretty decent job weeding out the fake profiles that seem ubiquitous on other social networking sites. They do it so well, in fact, that perhaps the Department of Homeland Security could contract Facebook to run the"No Fly List." I'm sure Ted Kennedy would be happy to sponsor the necessary legislation.

Facebook has become a popular platform for public figures to reach out to supporters and fans. Presidential candidates, for instance, can use the hugely popular social-networking site to build official profiles and post updates from the campaign trail. The Facebook gods therefore frown on pranksters who attempt to impersonate celebrities by creating a fake profile. They also encourage legitimate users to report alleged impostors in order to maintain the integrity of the site.

The trouble is, it’s often difficult to determine whether a celebrity profile is indeed a fake. This is exactly what happened to British MP Steve Webb, who recently discovered that he had been locked out of his own account and had his profile removed from the site. Several e-mails to Facebook were able to convince the company that the 10-year member of the House of Commons was no impostor. (Facebook eventually reinstated his account and issued the MP an official apology for the confusion.)

I’m surprised that this type of thing doesn’t happen more often. But Facebook, as far as I can tell, does a pretty decent job weeding out the fake profiles that seem ubiquitous on other social networking sites. They do it so well, in fact, that perhaps the Department of Homeland Security could contract Facebook to run the”No Fly List.” I’m sure Ted Kennedy would be happy to sponsor the necessary legislation.

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