Received a reprimand from Facebook because of the first share badge when using FB login. How to proceed?

Hi folks,

I received an email from Facebook saying that the FB app I’m using for social login is in violation of their incentive policies because Discourse rewards users with a badge for the first share, and this is against their policies on incentivizing users with rewards for actions other than the facebook-only actions they permit.

Does anyone have any idea on how I should respond? Has anyone else who is using FB social login been hit with a similar notice?

I know that the root of the issue is that this is a community platform that is not Facebook. They don’t have control over the data here and they want to cripple our capacity to communicate on platforms that they don’t control.

It seems like my options may be to disable the first share badge, tweak it to exclude shares to Facebook, or remove FB login as a login option. Thoughts?

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Hi there Robert,

Yeah that’s just rubbish for your community :frowning: Unfortunately you are not the only one that has had this issue there has been previous topics such as the one below. I think Justin is spot on here. Just disable the badge.

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Thank you! I should have put more effort into the search before posting. This is very helpful!

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Another option is likely to remove the Facebook sharing button, as that would remove the “incentivizing Facebook actions” part of it.

To do this, remove “facebook” from the share links site setting.

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Thank you. That certainly is another option, but I’d like to keep sharing to and from Facebook as features of our platform. Facebook would be a good channel to bring more people into our community hub, so making it more complicated for people to share to FB would hurt our outreach capacity.

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It’s interesting that on mobile there is no such thing as a “Share to Facebook” button, as we just call the browser share API, which call the OS share function that will present all share targets installed on the user device.

Maybe when this feature gets adopted more widely on desktops we remove any reference of a direct Facebook share button and this becomes a moot point.

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Do you have any idea if sharing using the share API on the mobile view will still trigger the badge reward?

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Yes it will. The badge uses a simple query parameter in the url.

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As far as you’re aware, is there any way to disable the share badge for specific share destinations (facebook), or should I just disable the badge entirely?

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No, there is no way to disable the badge for a single destination out of the box. That said you can write, or commission on the #marketplace, a theme-component that removes the ?u=username part from the URL when the Facebook button is clicked.

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That is an interesting idea, thank you. I could potentially write that theme-component at some point. I have until the end of the day to address this so facebook don’t disable my app, so I will have to remove the badge for now and then maybe add it back later once I publish a theme-component to help others.

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Just had the same reprimand and, when quizzed about it, Facebook posted this image as evidence:

Looks like any Discourse users who use Facebook sign-in will need to disable the badges that incentivise sharing.

I expect Facebook, as a company, will get increasingly aggressive toward platforms like Discourse, as Facebook is currently trying to muscle in on community discussion.

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Yes, I suspect that fb is trying to clamp down on the competition and trying to make life hard for us.

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Is responding with a corresponding policy violation notice an option?

The aforementioned policy of your platform has been found to be in violation of policy #128405 of our platform. We kindly request that you rescind your policy so as to prevent future violations of our policy. Thank you.

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Lol yeah I was considering hammering down about how they’re just trying to strong-arm the competition, but the poor peons sending out and responding to messages are not able to do anything about FB policies or grant exceptions, just enforce them.

Trying to fight FB is like a minnow trying to fight a hurricane :cyclone:. Best save our energy to continue developing alternative community platforms.

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If you and others pass enough bureaucratic tripe to the peons, maybe things might escalate to someone with more… cognizance. Perhaps enough minnows can weigh down the hurricane? After all, their level of agility is almost non-existent. Computer networks aren’t the only organizations subject to crippling deluge. In case it wasn’t evident, the policy number I cited is an entity in its own right. :grin:

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