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Google+ ad banned by Facebook


Developer Michael Lee Johnson placed an ad on Facebook, trolling for Google+ followers. It was a simple ad that had the headline: "Add Michael to Google+." The text of the ad said, "If you're lucky enough to have a Google+ account, add Michael Lee Johnson, Internet Geek, App Developer, Technological Virtuoso."

Nice idea, but Facebook is well within its rights to pull the ad. After all, ads promoting other social networking services are even prohibited in its Terms of Service. Item 6a of its Advertising Guidelines sys "We may refuse ads at any time for any reason, including our determination that they promote competing products or services or negatively affect our business or relationship with our users."

Ah, but then Facebook went what we consider to be just a little too far. Not only did they remove that one ad, they removed all of Johnson's ads. Their message to him, as he posted to Google+,

"Your account has been disabled. All of your adverts have been stopped and should not be run again on the site under any circumstances. Generally, we disable an account if too many of its adverts violate our Terms of Use or Advertising guidelines. Unfortunately we cannot provide you with the specific violations that have been deemed abusive. Please review our Terms of Use and Advertising guidelines if you have any further questions."

It's unclear if Johnson's ad worked, but he does appear in the circles of 1,460 Google+ members. We didn't notice Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg among them.

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