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Update on Simpler Policies and Enhanced Enforcement

November 24, 2009ByPaul C. Jeffries

When we announced the Developer Roadmap, we also simplified our policies by replacing the Facebook Platform Guidelines with the new Developer Principles and Policies, and posted Examples and Explanations for guidance on putting policy into practice. Our goal is to make it easy to understand our policies, so you can invest your time developing great applications instead of puzzling over rules.

We've all seen applications build long-term businesses by staying focused on providing a good user experience, creating user trust and engagement. These apps help all developers succeed by attracting more users to engage with great applications, creating a virtuous cycle that benefits the whole ecosystem. To continue to support this focus on user experience, we're investing in personnel and technology to help us better uncover and rapidly respond to policy violations. You'll continue to be able to launch an application without prior approval -- that's an important part of our open Platform philosophy -- but you should expect it to be proactively reviewed at any time.

Our Approach to Enforcement

Our aim is for the Developer Policies and Examples and Explanations to reflect the specifics you need to easily make decisions and manage your applications. While our policies will guide our approach, no document can itemize every way to generate a bad user experience, so we'll be enforcing our broader principles as well. Those who try to circumvent the spirit of the policies or principles, or exploit a "loophole," will be subject to enforcement.

When we find a violation, the action we take will depend on the developer's compliance history, and the nature and severity of the violation. In many cases we temporarily suspend some or all application functionality, or permanently disable.

Timing for the New Policies

Most of the revised policies are simplified versions of what we already required, and are therefore fully in effect. But as we said last month, we've also incorporated additional requirements, some of which were previously expected only of applications within the Verification program (which is being retired since all apps must now meet those standards).

We realize that for most of you adapting takes time, so we won't be universally enforcing the increased requirements on all developers until noon PST 16 December 2009. But we expect the largest developers to set a positive example by proactively complying ahead of time, and anyone may hear from us in advance of the deadline asking for particular fixes. You should carefully read the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and the Developer Principles and Policies to ensure you understand what's required. To help, we've provided highlights of changes and clarifications in the Latest Policy News section of the Examples and Explanations.

As we progress through the Developer Roadmap and the product evolves, we'll continue simplifying the policies and posting examples and explanations. Typically we'll announce substantial policy changes in the Developer Blog, with a lead time before they go into effect. However, in cases where we see exploits that require quick action to protect the ecosystem, where applicable we will post an update to our Examples and Explanations document and post an alert on the Platform Live Status (subscribe by email here) announcing our intention to enforce right away.


We hope you'll share your questions and feedback with us and the community in the Developer Forum. And if you see violations please let us know using the "Report" link at the bottom of canvas pages and application profile pages.

We appreciate the great apps you build, and look forward to working with you in protecting the Facebook Platform ecosystem and keeping it a welcoming place for users.

Paul and the rest of the Platform Policy Team stay healthy by riding the virtuous cycle.