Facebook Police Strike Again

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By Nick O'Neill

Social MeFacebook is at again shutting down yet another large application on their platform for privacy violations. This time around they’ve picked off the 24th most active application on the platform, Social Me. As Justin Smith writes., “If two’s a coincidence and three’s a trend, then the disappearance of Social Me tonight should raise all developers’ eyebrows.” This is the second time in under a week that an application has been pulled off the platform.

Facebook is known for actively policing their platform but the real question at hand is how scalable is Facebook’s policing process? With over 30,000 applications on the platform it has become increasingly challenging for Facebook to monitor the activity that all developers are up to. This is a similar problem Microsoft faced with their own platform, Windows. Microsoft’s policy was to let users install applications at their own risk.

Facebook on the other hand is looking for privacy violations and shutting applications down. While Facebook has stating that the applications have been shutdown for “privacy violations”, it is known that some applications on the platform should probably be shut down for terms of service violations, such as storing data for an extended period of time. Whatever the company’s rationale for shutting down the applications has been, it is clear that Facebook is taking violations seriously.

Facebook needs to make sure that they monitor all applications equally. Developers are clearly nervous about Facebook’s recent actions, wondering if their applications could be shut down overnight.