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Facebook to Ban Sponsored Updates; Move Follows FTC Scrutiny

Facebook intends to ban sponsored status updates, according to a draft of its new terms of service. The move comes after the FTC and the National Advertising Division of Better Business Bureaus have made moves to more closely regulate pay-per-post schemes on blogs.

Thus, a change to Facebook's rules will probably get the company out of the FTC's microscope.

The announcement came on Facebook's site governance blog (which is virtually impossible to navigate unless you're a teenager or a nerd). It states:

4. Registration and Account Security
... 2. You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).
It doesn't ban advertisers from creating their own pages with their own status messages.

TechCrunch points out that the move puts Facebook in a contrary position to Twitter, which allows sponsored posts. (In fact BNET generates a healthy chunk of its readership by syndicating our headlines into Twitter. BNET writers such as myself might be banned from doing the same in Facebook under the new rules, given that we do receive a "commercial gain" from any traffic that the links generate.)