Yesterday, news broke out that Slide’s Funwall application was no longer working and had been banned by Facebook for terms of service violations. According to a CNet news article, “Until Facebook suspended the Top Friends app, created by Slide, anyone could browse partial profiles of anyone else on Facebook who had added Top Friends to their page. CNET News.com confirmed that the security hole exposed the birthdays, gender, and relationship status of strangers, including Facebook executives, the wife of Google co-founder Larry Page, and one profile that seemed to belong to Paris Hilton that used her middle name ‘Whitney.'”
It has now been over 24 hours and the application appears to still be down. Top Friends was the third largest application and you can assume that Slide is rapidly working on a fix. Adonomics currently values the application at a whopping $25 million. The elimination of Top Friends would make RockYou the largest Facebook application developer. Given the historically fierce battle between Slide and RockYou, you can bet that Slide is working around the clock to make sure that this security hole is fixed.
Honestly, I’m surprised that the application is still down. Facebook provided Justin Smith with the following update regarding the issue once news of the application shut down was released: “We have suspended the Top Friends application while we investigate violations of our Terms of Service. We recognize this is a popular application and donâ€™t take this action lightly.”
It’s great to see that Facebook takes security violations seriously. I’m still concerned about the scalability of ensuring the lack of private date leaking from the platform but at least Facebook is willing to enforce their policies.