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I work on the Platform team at Facebook and wanted to respond to some of the comments on this post.

Breakup Notifier is an interesting idea and an example of the sort of engagement that developers can get on Facebook Platform (according to our stats this app had ~13k monthly Facebook users).

That said, we've built a number of automated systems that track people’s response to News Feed stories generated by apps to ensure they have a positive experience and to determine if a given app is violating our policies. These systems have worked well, cutting spam by 95% last year alone.

In this particular case, Breakup Notifier triggered one of our automated systems due to an excessive number of negative user reports. The system automatically shuts down access to the app while immediately notifying the developer via email; which is exactly what happened for Breakup Notifier. We take this action to preserve the user experience while giving our developer relations team time to work with the developer to correct the issue. We have been in contact with the developer since he followed back up with us. We hope to get the underlying issues resolved and get Breakup Notifier running again.

We want Facebook to be a great place for both people and developers — and we work very hard to ensure that we are balancing all the factors at play. We think our systems do a reasonable job helping us strike this balance, but we are open to feedback and constantly look to tune how we react to these situations.

Comments, flames, etc. welcomed.

Why was the developer's personal account disabled?

How is the developer supposed to contact Facebook via a disabled user account?


The account was not disabled.

I am not going to go into specific details of what our system does, but we require that the developer verify their identity when we take a policy action on an app.

We do this to ensure that the account wasn't compromised (which could have led to the behavior our system detected).

If you have ever forgotten your Facebook password, it is a similar flow.

We communicate with the developer over their alternative email in these cases.


Thank you for the response. You are a mensch.


This is scary thought. I am a facebook developer. We invest lot of time, sweat and money creating apps. If there is something not right, you contacting the the developer to give them some time fix the issues sounds reasonable. but pulling the plug is sure a scary thought. Everybody wants the users to have good experience. It is face books users. Not ours. While agreeing to that you need some balance. It's the apps made facebook what it is today.


douglasp, you're saying 13K users and the developer is claiming 100,000 or 3M, can you please clarify which is the right number?


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