Facebook Putting Frequently Reported Applications on Probation? [Corrected]

Over the course of the last couple years, Facebook’s approach to Platform governance has been consistently evolving. In the beginning, Facebook tried a quantitative stick-based approach based on user feedback – if enough invitations and notifications got reported as spammy, those channels got cut off. Then, it added a carrot with the creation of the “Verified Apps” program, but later shut it down after encountering some difficulties with that approach. Now, it’s taking a more manual approach, building out its policy enforcement team to manually review apps, dole out punishments, and weed out bad developers.

Update: We incorrectly assumed that the below message was posted by Facebook. Facebook says the message was actually put there by the developer, and has since disabled the application for multiple policy violations. We apologize for any confusion.

In the latest Platform policy enforcement experiment that we’ve seen, Facebook is now putting apps on public “probation.” When users visit an app that’s on probation, a big message will appear at the top of the canvas page that reads, “Application on probation: Due to numerous user complaints, this application has been put on a probationary period. If you feel there is content that is violating the Facebook policy please report it,” with a big “Report” button right at the top. We’ve asked Facebook for more details, and will let you know when we have more specifics on this.