Facebook should give developers access to (and votes on) user reputations

One of the big challenges of building any social service on the web is, has, and always will be spam (and, likewise, trolls). At any given point, some percentage of “users” generating content are actually marketers attempting to drive traffic to their own site or otherwise not helpfully contributing to the community.

Facebook, for its part, has invested massive amounts of people hours and technical resources into making Facebook a fairly spam-free experience. Some ungodly high percentage of Facebook’s employees are devoted to spam detection and customer service. It’s a huge problem that takes a lot of effort to fight.

For developers, spammers and trolls can be just as much a problem as they are for Facebook itself. However, most developers lack the resources to implement effective spam detection/user reputation systems. Rather than leaving every app developer to build their own, Facebook should share access to its internal user reputation scores with developers AND allow developers to contribute their own user reputation “votes” back to the system based on how users behave within their apps.

This may be a little ways off, but it would be a win-win for developers, users, and Facebook. Developers wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel, users would have better app experiences, and Facebook would get more comprehensive user integrity data.