Facebook developer policy violation for the sharing badges?

Hello, I recently received the below email from Facebook, with a screenshot of the “First Share” badge as proof that we are in violation of the policy. Has anyone heard of this before? I’ve seen dozens of other Discourse forums that use Facebook login & have badges enabled.

Do I really need to choose between badges and disabling Facebook login?


your app is currently in violation of Developer Policy 3.2:
“Only incentivize a person to log into your App, enter a promotion on your App’s Page, check-in at a place, or to use Messenger to communicate with your business. Don’t incentivize other actions.”

Examples of this include:
• Incentivizing people to use social plugins
• Incentivizing people to share or post in order to receive a benefit/discount
• Incentivizing people to like a Page in order to receive a benefit/discount

For more information on this policy, visit: Platform Policy 3.2 - Documentation - Facebook for Developers

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Have you contacted them about this? That’s flat-out crz … :man_facepalming:

Above email is their reply after I asked what the violation was. (Their first message just said we were in violation, without any details.)

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This is the problem with strict policies … the badge system is there purely to encourage engagement and learning of the platform. It’s extremely light-touch. They need to engage some common sense!

I think they need to come up with a better definition of ‘benefit’!

Perhaps you can push back and ask them to escalate this. Perhaps you just got a grumpy reviewer? They can’t ban all Discourse sites! That would surely be to their detriment?

Here’s my reply:

I am wondering if someone reported our forum for policy violation, because it appears to me that we are being singled out without cause. The platform we use is called Discourse (https://discourse.com), which is an extremely popular forum platform. These “badges” are built in to the platform, and every Discourse-based forum that I know of that has Facebook login, including Discourse’s own forum, has these badges without issue. See the list of links below for forums using the exact same platform, with Facebook login, with the “share badge”. If we are in violation, then all of these forums are in violation, and have been for years.

Additionally, it is extremely debatable in my opinion whether these “badges” are in violation of any policy. They are nothing more than small icons that show on a user’s profile, and are purely for fun. There are no virtual goods, no achievements, no coupons, no discounts, no access to extra content, no entries in a promotion. The DON’T examples on the page you referred me to show a clear link between taking action on Facebook and a clear incentive reward of some value (either in the app or monetarily). The Discourse platform has no such incentive reward, and no such call to action. One has to specifically click into the “badges” section to even see what they are for, and most users would ultimately see the badge without even knowing about it.

First Share badge on Discourse Meta
(…links omitted…)

There are many, many more forums, including from big companies like those listed above, which appear to be in “violation” of this policy. Could you please explain why my small forum with a couple of hundred users has been singled out?

Best,
(me)

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Facebook’s reply:

Thank you for your response.

Your App is incentivising share content and this action is considered as violation. We want our users to have high quality interaction with apps. This means that the interaction between users and apps should be natural and meaningful. If users are being rewarded to share a content, invite friends, liking and following pages or take any other kind actions, they may create an inauthentic interactions between users which can lead to frustration and dislike of the Platform.

So please reply here when you have made the updates to your app and we will review it once more for compliance. If we don’t hear from you before 17 of April your App will be subject of enforcement.

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Some more back and forth, it appears they are not going to give up, so we either remove Facebook login or remove badges. I guess I’ll be removing Facebook.

Hope nobody else has to deal with this nonsense…

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before removing facebook ask in community to all user to use different login method

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This is unfortunate, but more unfortunate is the fact that Facebook seems to be a moving target for policies like this.

This also reads like Facebook is saying “We don’t want anyone to promote interaction on their platform — except ours.”

That being said I’ll bring this to the team to see if we can do anything about it.

EDIT: @greves unfortunately it seems these rules are inconsistently enforced. Our recommendation at this point is to turn off the sharing badge.

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Indeed, they have given us a few days to do just that.

I’ll keep emailing with them until the deadline anyway to see if they change their mind. It’s a different random person every time, so maybe I’ll get lucky and someone will throw it out.

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