Is Facebook the next Microsoft?

I just came across this post by Robert Scoble

If you are trying to contact me on Facebook, please don’t. My account has been “disabled” for breaking Facebook’s Terms of Use. I was running a script that got them to keep me from accessing my account. I’m appealing. I’ll tell you what I was doing as soon as I talk with the developers who built what I was using and as soon as I talk with Facebook’s support (I sent an email in reply to the one below, but haven’t heard back yet).

I am working with a company to move my social graph to other places and that isn’t allowable under Facebook’s terms of service.

While they wrote their own screen scrappers Your addressbook and facebookso they can read all your contacts and friends that stored in the addresses books at gmail or hotmail or live.com, and many others. They blocked Robert Scoble’s account for running a script that (as far as I can read between the lines) exports his own friends list.

It is pretty clear now why Facebook preferred to go along with Microsoft instead of Google.
It is even more clear why they don’t join open social.
I can see what they thought at the first place when they released that cursed Beacon, and I don’t buy the apologizes that came after the rush.

Here is a short description of [Windows|Facebook] (you choose) platform.

  • It is a closed source system that comes with a set of APIs, which let third parties develop new applications.
  • If a user wants to use a third party application he must install that application.
  • If a user decided to uninstall a third party software.
  • When a user run the uninstall process, most of the data might remain in the system.
  • You never know who has access to your private data.
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