Facebook Bans Now Playing Plugin, Round 2

Now Playing16 Comments

On April 14th, the plugin was banned.

On April 26th, I restored the plugin under new policies with a new release.

On April 27th, the plugin was banned…again.

On April 27th, the plugin was restored…again.

The email I got:

Subject: Application Now Playing Plugin has been disabled


We’re committed to providing a positive user experience on Platform while also providing developers an ecosystem in which communication channels are open and applications may grow. To ensure a positive user experience, we run routine automated screens that take user feedback and various algorithms into account and remove spammy applications.

Your application Now Playing Plugin (ID #181950225185784) has been detected by our automated systems and permanently disabled. To prevent this from happening to future applications you may build, please monitor user reports and be sure to follow all outlined Developer Principles and Policies, found at http://developers.facebook.com/policy. Additionally, please keep the user experience at the forefront when developing and iterating on your application.

Though we are very confident in our system, if you think we have removed your application erroneously, you can read about our appeals process and complete a form to appeal at http://www.facebook.com/help?faq=17553. We will work quickly to evaluate your case and initiate the appeals process.

Thank you,

The Facebook Platform Team

The interesting thing here is that I just rolled the plugin out 24 hours prior. I had been going into the Insights (analytics for your application) and it had yet to register more then the 4 installs that I did myself. So virtually I had no data available to me. No reported user installs other than my own. Nothing I could do via data analysis. I was locked out with no cause.

I went for a run to think about it.

I decided to give it another chance with 1 change to the plugin. I will limit Facebook updates from the plugin to once every 6 hours. I know some folks will not like this but you have no choice. Its this or possibly no plugin at all on Facebook. I may be able to revisit this at some point as a positive reputation develops for the application in the Facebook system. I am hoping that the 6 hours is infrequent enough to make the Facebook automated system happy. If not, then I don’t know what else to do unless Facebook tells me what the exact issue is.

I am not going to appeal this latest ban. I want to get the 6 hour rate limit plugin out there and see how that goes. I feel like that will give the plugin a better case if another ban occurs.

So I have released version which enforces this limit. Please upgrade and use that limit and let’s see if it works. Abusing it can only lead to another ban.

If you don’t like that limit, you are free to use the Twitter integration and then have Facebook and Twitter sync. You can post as often as you want that way it seems.

Sorry for the trouble to those that got caught in the middle of an upgrade the last 24 hours and wondered why things didn’t go smoothly.

To be clear, if Facebook bans the application again, I will appeal but I doubt I will continue to develop or support the Facebook integration unless they give the plugin a way to continue to publish without being banned. I am still contemplating allowing users to provide their own Facebook application but you will probably be faced with the same restrictions and on a smaller level because there would be no user community volume to help support it. I think its a losing battle.

In the end, I feel like Facebook is crafting their service to be what they want it to be. Its their prerogative I guess. However, I feel like it will alienate developers and Facebook users. I want to see info on music you listen to and how far you ran today. I could care less about pictures of your kids. However, Facebook seems to think the later is what the masses want and they are banning ways to do the former. So as a user, I will probably find less value in visiting Facebook as often as I had in the past. And I definitely won’t spend time developing on the Facebook platform.