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Facebook blocks Google+ ad

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Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has so far refused to remark publicly about Google+. Unfortunately for him, actions speak louder than words: Facebook has officially banned the “first ever” Google+ advertisement from appearing on its pages, reports Erick Shonfeld at TechCrunch.

The ad was purchased by web developer Michael Lee Johnson, a self-professed Google+ fanatic, who Shonfeld says was looking to sway some of his Facbook friends over to Google’s new social network. (Johnson was also trying to gin-up some press coverage by posting the ad.) Soon after the ad went live, however, Facebook informed Johnson that his ad had been blocked, and his entire Facebook ad account suspended.

The Facebook message reads: “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.”

Of course, it’s not hard to guess why Facebook banned Johnson’s account. In fact, the reason is likely outlined right in Facebook’s Terms of Service — though not in an entirely straightforward manner.

As CNet‘s Chris Matyszczyk points out, Clause 6a in the “Advertising Guidelines” portion of the TOS reads: “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.” In other words: Ads for competing services are not welcome.

This is not Facebook’s first push-back against Google+. The company has already banned two services that allowed Plus users to import their Facebook contacts into Google’s network. And, with Google+ quickly gaining popularity, this is likely far from the last we’ll see in the Facebook vs. Google+ fiasco.