It seems like Dalton was under the impression that he was rather explicitly threatened with being denied access to the Facebook platform through a change in terms of service, in a way that is critical to his business. That's a strong-handed negotiation tactic for a supposed business infrastructure provider.
All's fair in business is a bullshit perspective. It's the self justification of those who want to engage in behavior they know is sociopathic.
Deception is occasionally a necessary tactic, but it would be insane to try to argue that it is a behavior that creates economic value. It should not be the expected default behavior, and in fact, is not. Which is why there are both civil and criminal penalties for fraud.
Deceptive behavior that is less than fraud may not be illegal, but it's still shame worthy in my view.
I've been seeing comments like the one you have responded to more and more here. Commenters seemingly confusing legality with ethics and politeness, or perhaps mistakenly thinking that the later two do not exist.
If we swapped out companies with strangers and HN with facebook, would these people be responding to their friends posting venting comments about whistlers on the bus to work with "It's a free country, they are allowed to whistle on the bus, so shutup."? To be honest, I don't think so. I think the reason this reply is absurd is patently is likely obvious to them when the subject of the criticism does not involve a corporation. It seems as far as they are concerned, as soon as a company enters the picture, all criticisms become invalid if they do not involve law-breaking.
Because in contemporary North American culture the expectation for a company is basically sociopathic behavior within the law. But the expectation for an individual person is ethically aware and polite behavior in the face of public scrutiny.
I was thinking about this earlier, and it occurred to me that "expect" has two meanings in a way.
I expect companies to not act ethically. In other words, I think of myself as a realist and this just seems to be how companies are going to act.
On the other hand, I expect them to act ethically. Meaning ethical behaviour is the behaviour that I demand from them.
Like when a parent says to their teenage kid who refuses to study for an exam, "Well I expect you to get an A". They don't expect that, but they do expect that of them.
Maybe these two sorts of "expect" get shorted out when corporations enter the picture? On the other hand, perhaps the expectation of a corporation in both senses really is sociopathic behaviour. All that "duty to the shareholders" crap...
Sure.. it is legitimate. But Dalton has the right to say as loudly as he can what Facebook's negotiation tactics are. And other developers have the right to stop developing on the Facebook platform because of it.
It may be legitimate, but that doesn't mean there aren't consequences.
How many developers would continue using Facebook's platform if they knew Facebook would kill their product on a whim?