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This is all because of Google.

No, really. Google decided they could scale better if they used computers to do customer service, or just didn't have customer service. In exchange, they didn't charge anything for a lot of their services and told people 'deal with it.'

This worked well for Google! Facebook is staffed extremely lightly given their reach; stuff like this is just going to keep happening. I have no idea if the app developer deserved it, but these 'free to play' broad-reach companies CAN'T provide the service this app developer feels he/she needs, they wouldn't scale properly if they did.

these 'free to play' broad-reach companies CAN'T provide the service this app developer feels he/she needs, they wouldn't scale properly if they did.

Bollocks. I realize there's probably a lot of app spam, and of course you want to deal with a lot of that in an automated manner, but we're talking about apps that have built up millions of users here, it is in no way unreasonable to expect at least one lowly paid human to look into these cases before shutting them down. A single person could probably clear a hundred of these cases in a day, especially if the automated system gave them info on why it thinks the app should be banned - if it says there are too many negative reviews, that's real simple to check, if it catches a TOS violation, that's also real simple.

Here, it looks a lot like someone (maybe accidentally?) turned the sensitivity threshold too high on the ban-bot and never bothered to check if it was working right because it's not public facing enough.

As far as the Google comparison, to me that's rather unfair, because in the case of Google's app store, they don't tend to go around auto-banning large numbers of popular applications. So whatever algorithms they're using are doing a pretty good job, as opposed to Facebook's, which are apparently flailing like crazy.

Facebook has a culture of introducing live testing according to some developer statements so it's slightly surprising that this happened.

Google seems to test their systems well, except for UI changes though.

This whole idea makes doing business with either company difficult and very risky IMO. I have used Google Adwords for years and got a permanent ban one day out of the blue - no emails, nothing. I finally got in contact with an AdWords rep that helped me get back up but the whole process took nearly a month. Imagine if AdWords accounted for the majority of my sales?

Another case: SF-Based Yardsellr uses Facebook as the only authentication platform and not only requires all users to use Facebook in order to use their application, it is also very tightly integrated into Facebook Pages and other areas. If Facebook auto-bans their application their entire company shuts down until it's resolved. Imagine the losses.

I've been very concerned with businesses basing their livelihood on top of existing platforms like Facebook or market places like AdWords. It's easy to overlook how quickly your company or application can be banned - especially now that the bots are coming out to play.

This isn't to say that removing the bots solves the problem. The real problem lies in the lack of control you have over your business processes when you build something on top of existing platforms. However, this certainly exacerbates the issue and makes it all the more volatile.

Same thing happened to my Adwords account, with this nice message: http://www.devside.net/images/adwords-account-suspended.png

Except that I've never used it but a few times, and never violated the terms.

The rep refused to tell me what was violated and said this matter was closed.

How did you get them to unban your account?

I had signed up for a separate account in order to get access to their API (you have to have an MCC account to use the API which requires you to create a new account - ridiculous IMO). They make outbound calls to new accounts to assist in setting up campaigns so when that happened I explained the situation and he played mediator to get it back up. Normally I wouldn't suggest breaking their ToS by making multiple accounts but it's likely the only way to get them on the phone.

I'm fairly certain that Google wasn't the first firm to think about, or employ, automation. They may have taken it to an extreme, but even so, its also ridiculous to call what is a facebook problem Google's fault. Google may have set an example, but the FB execs decided they'd not have any customer support.

Anyway, you're mixing up first agents. Google didn't put a gun to FB's head, as the old adage goes.

If they can't provide the service this app developer - whose app was used by over a million people - then why are they fucking providing an opportunity to create apps anyway?

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