Facebook Fixes Feedback System For Developer Support

Facebook has fixed the system that had pulled applications from the site two weeks ago, although that hasn't reinstated every single one of the apps.

Facebook appears to have fixed the system that had shut down a host of applications two weeks ago, although that hasn’t reinstated every single one of the apps.

A spokesperson for Facebook explained via email:

We’ve listened to developer feedback and made some changes to our systems. Specifically, we’ve rolled out a news feed tab in isights to show positive and negative feedback; we’ve shifted to disabling only the impacted channel when detecting excessive negative user feedback; and we’ll now place apps in disable mode rather than deleting them.

Like Engineer Mike Vernal describes this on Facebook’s developer blog:

We recently launched some changes to those systems that over-weighted certain types of user feedback, causing us to erroneously disable some apps. While we quickly re-enabled those apps, we realize that any downtime has a significant impact on both our developers and users. Many of our developers have chosen to build their businesses on top of Facebook, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

Today we’re launching improvements to our enforcement systems that will provide more user feedback directly to developers and will use that feedback to shape app distribution in a more granular way:

  • Better user feedback metrics. Today, we’re starting to rollout a “News Feed” tab in Insights to show you both positive user feedback (e.g., comments, likes, clicks) and negative user feedback (e.g., hides, marks as spam) on your content. The red and green areas of these graphs will provide guidance on whether your app is generally in good standing or whether your app is receiving a significant amount of negative feedback. We will be adding more granular Insights for other channels in the coming months.
  • Granular enforcement. When our systems detect an excessive amount of negative user feedback, we will look to disable only the impacted social channel. For example, if an app is generating a lot of negative feedback via chat messages, we will take action only on that app’s ability to publish to chat but otherwise leave the app intact. Developers will be able to appeal these granular enforcement actions.
  • New dsabled mode. If we need to disable an app (e.g., it is receiving negative feedback across multiple channels), it will now be placed into a disabled mode rather than being deleted. While disabled, users will not be able to access the app, but the developer will still be able to access and test the app, edit settings, and view Insights. Developers will continue to be able to appeal having an app disabled.