Just like in real life, the world of Facebook has rules and if you don’t play by them, you face punitive action — including getting kicked off the site.
Recently, Facebook called it quits with the Breakup Notifier, sending the developer an Email stating it would shut down the application because it appeared to be spammy.
Facebook issued this statement to the developer upon shutdown:
To ensure positive user experiences on Platform, we run routine automated screens that take user feedback, machine learning and various algorithms into account and remove spammy applications. For example, if an application is making an inordinate number of stream.publish calls and receiving a large number of user reports, it may be removed by our automated systems to protect the user experience and the Platform ecosystem.
Some users thought the referenced app was close to cyber stalking, but the developer is going back to the drawing board in an attempt to resurrect it.
So, how is application “takedown” avoided? Facebook has a set of rules and principles for developers outlining (okay, it’s a long outline) the policies to follow.
Mainly, Facebook directs developers to create a great user experience through socially smart apps extending some level of choice to the user. That means respecting the privacy of the user and not issuing any spam – a top line rule breaker leading to shutdown.
We’ve attempted to simplify Facebook’s policy as much as the English language would allow us. Here goes:
- Don’t break any laws or expose users to legal liability.
- No collecting of Facebook usernames or passwords.
- Website must include a logout option for users.
- Don’t use cross-collected information from other sources to create a unique user experience for your app. Only use what is provided by Facebook.
- Don’t use Facebook icons or terms for features and functionality, which might confuse users into thinking it’s a direct reference to Facebook.
- You can only collect basic data unless the user gives additional consent (basic being name, email, gender, birthday, current city, and profile picture URL).
- User data cannot be transferred to any type of advertising network.
- Apps can’t share anonymous unique identifiers with data brokers or sell data of users.
- If Facebook does shut you down, you’re required to delete all data gleaned from FB.
- Apps cannot contain content related to alcohol, tobacco or firearms or violate intellectual property rights of others.
- No gambling or illegal pyramid schemes.
- Don’t spread hate, post porn or threaten anyone.
- Can’t publish users’ content without explicit permission.
- Users must have a skip option when going into Facebook social channels.
- Like buttons are not for purchase or sale: They also can’t be covered up by application content.
- If Platform policies are violated, Facebook will enforce action.
- Policies can change without notice to app developers.
If you need more, Facebook provides escalation procedures. So, stay within the guidelines published by Facebook or face takedown.