SEPTEMBER 2012: While you might get more done if you couldn’t hop on your favorite social network, chances are you want to stay connected to your fellow frogs, on your favorite social networks, so be aware of the rules!
Simply by using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other platforms, you have agreed to their terms. Which means your account can be suspended, either temporarily or permanently, if you break their rules. Here’s what you should know in a nutshell, and where you can find all the froggy details:
Facebook in a nutshell: Be nice and don’t steal anything.
Facebook has a virtual tome of legal information located in various places on its website and, as you’ve probably heard, its Terms can change quite often. Huffington Post recently put together a fun slideshow about some of the content that can get you kicked off of Facebook, but there are even more rules involving advertising and apps. How will you know if you’ve done something wrong? Your account will be blocked or disabled. Will you get advance warning? Maybe. But maybe not.
LinkedIn in a nutshell: Be truthful and don’t mess with our brand.
LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, has a serious-looking User Agreement that says it’s legally binding in bold letters across the top. Included toward the bottom is a list of five do’s and a boatload of don’ts. Mostly they want you to behave professionally, don’t be spammy, don’t pretend you’re something or someone you’re not, and don’t mess with anything related to LinkedIn or its site, brand or technology. This article from tellmeTXT hits key highlights.
Twitter in a nutshell: Keep it legal and calm down, already.
The Twitter Rules are similar to those for LInkedIn and Facebook but it presents its policies in categorized, bite-sized chunks — no surprise there! If you behave badly, like promoting illegal stuff or using the platform’s features en masse, your account may be suspended. You can appeal your suspension by filling out a form that features “With love,” as the non-editable closing preceding your name.
Social Networking in a nutshell: They can kick you off if they want.
LinkedIn says, “LinkedIn may terminate the Agreement and your account for any reason or no reason, at any time, with or without notice.”
Facebook says, “If you violate the letter or spirit of this Statement [its terms], or otherwise create risk or possible legal exposure for us, we can stop providing all or part of Facebook to you.”
And while laid-back Twitter says that it “may investigate” accounts and that those accounts “may be removed,” ultimately it “reserves the right to immediately terminate your account without further notice in the event that, in its judgment, you violate these Rules or the Terms of Service.”