Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

One of the problems with the Facebook API is that it is disconnected from policy on too many points. The policy is all hand-wavy honor system, and the API lets you trample all over the policy.

Case in point, one of the most common policy violations is prefilling the user message on posts made via the API. It is forbidden. But the field is right there for you to abuse and put whatever you want into it. Sure there are some automated enforcement algorithms and policy employees look at things when complaints go up, but if the policy says you can't do it, why on earth does the code allow it?

OK I know the pat answer is that apps are allowed to prompt the user earlier in the workflow for the message, and then use that value when calling the API. That is true but weak (what would it hurt to eliminate that loophole vs. the benefit of no longer having to detect and take enforcement action on an impossible action) -- the point remains, if they really cared about their vaunted policy and protecting the user, they would put more controls directly into the code behind the API to disallow prohibited actions.

These are things where smart engineers can make a difference. Spend some time on the FB Developer Community Group and you will see the flood of questions from developers who are completely ignorant of the policy, even on basic things like "don't use an account with a name other than your own" aka, there are no business or developer accounts. Many of them willfully ignore policy and just do what the code allows them to do. A lot of good could be done by FB devs taking more accountability for how the platform is abused.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact