Policy Update: Facebook Extends Demographic Restrictions Deadline for Developers Using Alcoholic Virtual Goods

Back in November, Facebook announced an update to its platform terms of service with respect to alcohol advertising that allowed developers to place ads for alcoholic beverages for the first time – as long as they used Facebook’s Demographic Restrictions functionality to prevent access to alcohol related ads by anyone under 21.

passadrinkAt the same time, Facebook announced that starting today, January 6, 2009, it would require that “all content related to alcoholic beverages — including unbranded, generic drink images — be available only under Demographic Restriction.” This meant that developers allowing users to do things like “sending a drink” or other kinds of alcoholic themed virtual goods would now need to use Demographic Restrictions as well.

However, this afternoon, Nick Gianos and Paul Jeffries of Facebook’s Platform operations team posted a note on the Developers Wiki announcing an extension of that deadline while Facebook refines how the Demographic Restrictions feature works.

On November 7th… we said that effective January 6th, 2009, other content related to alcoholic beverages — including unbranded, generic drink images — will also require Demographic Restrictions. We know that you’ve been working hard to accommodate this, and appreciate all your efforts. However, we’ve gotten feedback that the current technology makes it difficult to comply in some cases. Based on your input, we’re taking another look to see if we can improve how Demographic Restrictions work. In the meantime, we’re postponing enforcement of the additional restrictions that were scheduled to take effect on January 6th.

Gianos and Jeffries added that, “As a best practice we encourage you to use Demographic Restrictions in all cases, but we’ll hold off on the additional requirements until we’ve taken all your feedback into account and made a technology review”, but didn’t indicate when the new deadline may be. We’ll keep you updated as things move forward.