Developer who tried to fix Facebook gets banned from Facebook
The man behind a popular Web browser extension that sifts advertisements out of Facebook timelines has been banned from the popular social networking site.
Steve, the one-named developer behind F.B. Purity, a browser extension that filters advertisements, quizzes, games, and "X became a fan of Y" messages from users’ news feeds, announced today on his website that Facebook's legal department informed him of a pending ban on his account, set to go into effect at any moment.
"This effectively means I will no longer be able to work on the F.B. Purity project any more," he added, writing that Facebook's legal department didn't let him know how long he'd be banned from the site.
"The wording is a bit odd, to be honest," Steve wrote to the Daily Dot. "They say I am no longer authorized to access the Facebook website or any of its services until this matter is resolved."
This is the third time that Facebook has banned Steve's user account since he first released the extension in March 2009. The site has banned—albeit temporarily—its coexisting "Fluff Busting Purity" fan page, which has more than 72,000 fans, each time as well.
"It seems fan pages are directly linked to user accounts, so if the user is banned, any pages that they created also seem to get disabled," he explained.
Steve has already sent Facebook's legal team an "argument for reinstatement" and is currently awaiting response.
"Though not holding my breath, as the last time I replied to one of their emails, it took them a month and a half to get back to me," he wrote.
Facebook did not respond to the Daily Dot's request for comment, though it should be noted that the banning comes at an interesting time. This morning, rumors started swirling that the company is working on a series of video advertisements that will show up in users' news feeds in April.
According to the statement Steve left on his website, Facebook told him that he would be banned from the site because "Facebook's terms specifically prohibit interference with the way Facebook is rendered to its users" and that the extension does not connect with the site's API (application programming interface), "which they say is the approved method for interacting with Facebook's services."
Steve argues that F.B. Purity's affiliation with Facebook's API—or lack thereof—shouldn’t figure into the discussion.
"F.B. Purity does not directly access Facebook's services anyway," he wrote. "It's is a browser extension, and by definition, it 'extends' the browser's functionality. Therefore it is actually the Web browser itself that is accessing Facebook, and Web browsers do not need an API key or license to access Facebook's services."
Photo via FB Purity/Facebook