For 7 years Facebook managed its Platform in a way that systematically violated user privacy in order to maximize Facebook's growth and profits. The FTC told Facebook to stop violating privacy in 2012. Instead of taking obvious measures to protect user privacy, Facebook started threatening to shut off friend data to companies in late 2012 unless they made extravagant, unrelated purchases in Facebook's new mobile ads product. Zuckerberg did this in order to keep Facebook's advertising business from collapsing because it had been built exclusively for desktop computers.
Facebook's entire business today has been built on this fraudulent scheme where Zuckerberg's "reciprocity policy" was used to justify repeated privacy violations in a pay-to-play scheme that traded friend data for unrelated purchases in Facebook's mobile ads. Zuckerberg has made developers the patsy for this scheme for far too long. Facebook has repeatedly taken advantage of the fact that it alone sets the rules in a $227 billion economy in which it is also one of the largest players. This anti-competitive and anti-consumer behavior is against the law and must stop. Tell Zuckerberg we will no longer be his patsy!
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For years Facebook failed to provide developers with any privacy information and made it impossible for users to understand how apps use their data. Facebook then blamed apps for this clear violation of user privacy even though these privacy violations were Facebook's responsibility. Facebook must give users full control over their data regardless of whether they download a third party app or not and must explain on the main privacy settings page exactly what apps can access. Facebook must also re-open the graph and require users explicitly to consent to any information apps may access about them.
For years, Facebook's Growth team overseen by Javier Olivan weaponized Facebook's policy and privacy apparatus to wipe out competition and unfairly accelerate the transition of Facebook's advertising platform to mobile phones. Facebook cannot be trusted to regulate its own Platform. Regulators must ensure that the product and growth teams at Facebook cannot manipulate the policy and privacy teams into justifying questionable and illegal conduct.
Users and developers must be protected in Facebook Platform's massive economy. Both users and developers should have actionable legal rights enshrined in Facebook's policies and subject to FTC oversight, in particular a commitment from Facebook not to take action that misleads users about how their data is used; that gives competitive advantages to certain companies based exclusively on the degree of financial consideration offered to Facebook; and further that Facebook will not engage in deceptive practices that give its own products advantages over other products built on Facebook Platform.
Building a business in less than 5 years is silly. Facebook must ensure the stable operating system it promised developers on a timeframe that is reasonable to build a business and generate a return on investment.
Developers must have due process to have their grievances heard and evaluated under the Bill of Rights, including a commitment from Facebook to respond to all grievances within 72 hours and provide for escalation mechanisms to senior management and truly independent authorities.
In Spring 2019, a California jury will decide whether Facebook engaged in a fraudulent and anti-competitive scheme designed by Zuckerberg in 2012 to weaponize friend data and other Platform APIs to save Facebook's advertising business, which was collapsing due to the transition from desktop computers to smartphones. The most valuable APIs in Platform were privatized and used as trading tools to force developers to purchase Facebook's new mobile advertising product, and then when obvious privacy issues arose from Facebook's weaponization of this data, Facebook used these privacy issues as an excuse to wipe out competition in messaging, photo and video sharing and numerous other consumer app categories. If you've been impacted by this or a similar change, contact us immediately. You may qualify to participate in this litigation and have your grievances heard in court.
Please email us with the name and description of your product and business, as well as a short statement of how your application was impacted by Facebook. We will respond to all inquiries within 72 hours. We are very close to setting a precedent that Facebook has engaged in anti-competitive behavior in violation of California law and to protect consumers and companies who rely on Platform economies in the future. Join us!
Watch the full story of why and how Facebook took advantage of small Developers in violation of California law.
From 2007 to 2014, Facebook continued to open its graph and expand the amount of content Developers could access. It enticed and trained them to build businesses using this content. It benefited from those businesses immensely.
Throughout this time, Facebook repeatedly violated user privacy and then successfully placed the blame on developers in order to wipe out competition in a wide range of markets. Facebook's entire business has been built from the fruit of this deceptive scheme where Zuckerberg weaponized his Platform and repeatedly violated user trust to transition Facebook's desktop advertising business to mobile phones.
In the meantime, we need you to get involved. Share your story and join our effort — we simply don't know how far reaching the impacts of Facebook's bait and switch tactics have been on businesses and investors, not to mention the people and families behind them. Please do your part — join our effort today!
The Facebook App Economy website was created to serve as an information resource for people and businesses who have been impacted by Facebook's unfair and deceptive practices. Anyone who has been impacted can use this website to sign up for updates that follow the course of the litigation and to learn how they may protect their rights.
This website also serves as a forum for increased public awareness of the harm caused by a lack of regulation in Platform economies. This is an issue of great importance to the public, the legal system and the global economy. Today, some of the largest economies in the world have their rules made and monitored by companies who also get to play in the very game they police. This aligns incentives naturally toward anti-competitive behavior that detrimentally impacts both small businesses and consumers.
Facebook's application economy in particular has experienced a series of anti-competitive transfers of wealth. This website focuses on a major one that impacted thousands of businesses, people and families: Zuckerberg’s 2012 decision to privatize Graph APIs while concealing this fact for more than two years and continuing to represent the public availability of these APIs in order to force companies to make extravagant, unrelated purchases in Facebook’s new mobile advertising product.
This website offers a proposal for regulating Facebook's $227 billion economy in order to prevent events like this from happening again. The proposal seeks to establish a basic set of rights and obligations for everyone participating in Facebook's application economy with the goal of minimizing perverse incentives towards anti-competitive behavior, which harms the public interest and threatens the long-term viability of the economy itself. In doing so, this website seeks to engage the public and legal community not only to support the proposal but also to participate in its evolution. We welcome your thoughts and feedback.