A well-known tech blog was only too happy to host an op ed from a film-maker and entrepreneur after he was booted from Facebook ‘without explanation’. But The Kernel has discovered there’s more to the story.
In a plaintive guest post published yesterday, east London founder and videographer tells a harrowing tale of his eviction from Facebook. And the story rings true, based not only on other testimonies of what happens when someone at Facebook takes exception to the contents of your account but also on Facebook’s own policies.
In this case, however, The Kernel has learned that the unfortunate entrepreneur in question, Chris Leydon, might not have been telling The Next Web, which appears not to have approached Facebook for comment before publishing his commentary, the whole story.
Thus, the ripples of sympathy and outrage that have been flooding around the London tech scene in the past 48 hours appear somewhat premature.
According to a source inside Facebook, who asked not to be named in order to protect her job, Leydon was permanently banned from the social network for a combination of “sustained harassment” and “obsessive behaviour” that prompted multiple independent complaints to the social network.
Allusions were made to the publication or dissemination of obscene material on the network, but our source was unable to confirm that this was a factor in his expulsion nor that it was the subject of a complaint as we went to press.
Facebook has become a popular company to abuse after a disastrous initial public offering last year and multiple privacy snafus spanning back many years, but tech blogs should be careful before unwittingly repeating anecdotal testimony without verification.
To date The Kernel has not seen any evidence of wrongdoing. Leydon told The Kernel today: “I am confident that I haven’t engaged in the alleged activities of ‘harassment’, ‘unsolicited contact’ and ‘obsessive behaviour’ and that my Facebook logs will reveal that.
“As has been documented with Facebook harassment complaints in the past, the network takes a guilty until proven innocent stance.”