Recently, one of the most popular Facebook pages in Israel, by the name of "Twitting Statuses", was suspended and later permanently removed by Facebook. The reason for such action was that the operator of that page (the "Operator"), so it is understood, was paid to publish commercial content on that Facebook page, without going through the Facebook advertising system and without providing any due disclosure that such content was indeed paid for. It appears that the Operator offered various media packages to advertisers fixing prices based on different kinds of exposure on this page.

After this manner of operation became public knowledge, Facebook suspended the page and a few days after that permanently removed it. Facebook stated that these actions were taken because the Operator had breached Facebook's terms and conditions. According to Facebook, the Operator received warnings about his manner of operation, but ignored them. Despite the Operator's efforts, which included going public with Facebook's actions and publishing a letter sent from him to the head of the Israeli office of Facebook, his efforts to change Facebook's decision were unsuccessful.

Without getting into the legal spat between Facebook and the Operator, this turn of events proves the importance of following the terms and conditions of Facebook. All of the work and effort of the Operator will probably go down the drain, causing him substantial financial loss and diminution in value in connection with this Facebook page. And this is not something to trifle with - according to newspaper reports, the Operator, prior to this turn of events, asked to receive NIS 10,000,000 (approx. USD 2.5M) for the page and had 700,000 followers (and claimed to reach exposure of millions).

Given the fact that this kind of business lives or dies on the existence of the Facebook page, and that it operates on a platform owned by a third party, it goes without saying that where the business is intended to generate followers and create value without adhering to the terms and conditions of the third party owned platform, it is reasonable to believe that sooner rather than later, such value will dissolve into thin air. Further,  where there are third party investors that are involved in such a business, this could establish a cause of action against the entrepreneur who used their investments for purposes of the business; where such a core fundamental element of the business is questionable, there is a possibility that the investors will seek to recover damages from the entrepreneur.

So, entrepreneurs – pay close attention to the rules of any third party you rely on for the purpose of creating value for your business, failing which , you could expose yourself to financial difficulties on a number of fronts.