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Facebook Blocks KDE Photo App, Deletes Users' Pics 262

Posted by timothy
from the not-k-osher dept.
Znarl writes with a report from Joe Brockmeier, who writes that: "KDE users have gotten a rather unpleasant surprise from Facebook: Not only is the site blocking KDE apps like Gwenview from uploading, the social media giant has also taken down photos uploaded with the KDE plugins. Yet another reason that users might think twice before depending on Facebook for photo storage."
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Facebook Blocks KDE Photo App, Deletes Users' Pics

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  • Don't Panic (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:24AM (#36593702)

    I am sure the Faceborg have the best interests of the public in mind. Those nasty open source free applications can spread like wildfire, and then we are all communists.

    • by syousef (465911)

      I am sure the Faceborg have the best interests of the public in mind. Those nasty open source free applications can spread like wildfire, and then we are all communists.

      Please! Don't insult the Borg. The correct parody of the name is "Faceplant". Everyone knows that!

  • facebook (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:26AM (#36593710)

    > the social media giant has also taken down photos uploaded with the KDE plugins

    So that's what it takes to have your photos successfully deleted from Facebook.

  • by FSWKU (551325) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:26AM (#36593718)
    If it does, I guess we've solved the mystery of how to make sure a photo is actually removed from Facebook instead of just removed from your profile and stored away in some archive forever...
  • Scaled down photos (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CommanderEl (765634) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:28AM (#36593722)
    I've never used Facebook for any pro photos or photos that demand a level of detail to appreciate them. Facebook blows for displaying photos anyway because of the sheer fact that your photos are scaled down to a disgusting quality that's not even good enough to use for print. I can understand why the do this (!!!) but it's such a shame because facebook is a wonderful delivery mechanism of information and media.
    Use Picasa, it's not made by a wannabe evil, world dominating organisation.
    • by bmo (77928)

      Under the java picture display there's a link that says "download"

      Farcebook always keeps the original. They scale it on the fly. When you click on the "download" link, you get the full size pic.

      HTH

      --
      BMO

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:50AM (#36593854)

        No, the download link does not give the original. It gives at max a 2048x2048 image. Even if you upload an image within those dimensions, it still gets recompressed.

        Facebook is not a place to store photos at all.

        • by mcvos (645701) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @03:53AM (#36594420)

          Facebook is not a place to store photos at all.

          I don't understand why anyone would think it is. Facebook is a place to share meaningless drivel with your friends, vague acquaintances and pretty much the entire rest of the world. If quality photo storage is an issue, you go to a site that's designed for that, and not for something else entirely.

          • by conares (1045290)
            I don't understand why anyone would put a cat in microwave or washing machine. But I can easily understand why someone would use Facebook as a place to store photos.
            • by mcvos (645701)

              To share, sure. But to store? I'd rather use GMail to store photos.

            • by Nidi62 (1525137)

              I don't understand why anyone would put a cat in...[a] washing machine.

              How else are you going to clean the cat?

        • Indeed, I always resize my pics to 1024 max before I upload them to facebook anyway, i have the original gargantuan ones right here, or on Picasa

    • by bizso09 (1695798)

      Use Picasa, it's not made by a wannabe evil, world dominating organisation.

      Picasa is made by Google, right?

  • Facebook? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AffidavitDonda (1736752) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:31AM (#36593734)
    What's Facebook?
  • geohot (Score:5, Funny)

    by CommanderEl (765634) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:31AM (#36593738)
    Maybe George Hotz is a Gnome fanboi. Seems like a timely response to the announcement that he has begun employment with Facebook - just sayin' ;)
  • Sure enough, all of my vacation photos uploaded that way are gone gone gone.

  • Not just KDE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheCyberShadow (1429099) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:34AM (#36593758) Homepage

    Lots of apps were suddenly banned [facebook.net] due to "negative user experience". Appeals are being rejected with canned replies. Facebook developers (see link, scroll down) are basically saying "you deserved it, our only fault is not telling you earlier why".

    • you deserved it, our only fault is not telling you earlier why.

      Sounds like they're also saying this:

      We actually can't tell you why you deserved it. We're still working on that tool.

      Some of the metrics that are used for banning apps are private. It's shitty for them to trigger automated bans before automated warning is even possible.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Some of the metrics that are used for banning apps are private. It's shitty for them to trigger automated bans before automated warning is even possible.

        While what you say is true, depending on facebook for your livelihood is stupid in the same was as depending on Apple. They WILL change things, they WILL reject your apps, they WILL make up bullshit reasons for it, and you DON'T have any recourse.

    • From that post...

      We've been getting a lot of user feedback recently, spiking significantly over the past week, on the amount of application spam people are seeing in their feeds and on their walls.

      I'm now curious if that is negative feedback from their users, or the users' friends - essentially blocking the app-generated updates because they don't care for them.

      It's a 'dick move', but the title's mention of KDE is clearly an appeal to the geek mind; let's face it, the main complaint from developers is not t

      • Content hiding (Score:5, Informative)

        by DrYak (748999) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @06:33AM (#36595004) Homepage

        I'm now curious if that is negative feedback from their users, or the users' friends - essentially blocking the app-generated updates because they don't care for them.

        When you read around the various "Banned" threads and the canned reply, it seems that this is the apparent reason.
        Up until now, the ban decision was based on number of users, votes and likes of users, etc.
        Lots of applications were considered super-successful.

        Suddenly they seem to have changed the criteria : If some user blocks a publication seen on the news-feed that counts as a negative feed-back.
        Now look at the forums : most of the "formerly successful applications getting now banned" are either games or photo uploading applications.
        These are application that are mega popular (some of them are 300k users with 4.9 out of 5 reviews). But not all friends are interested into them.

        There are a lot of people who simply remove games for the news feed like my self, because I'm not interested into flash games and I'm on facebook only to share news and pictures with friends and acquittance. I don't personally care that someone among them won 300 golden pigs on her virtual farm. It's not that I wish that all games go burn in hell and disappear from facebook, It's just that I don't personally care about them and I find that they are polluting my news-feed for the usage I need it for. I perfectly understand that there are people who are here *for* the games and thus are definitely interested in latest flash-gaming fads, etc.

        If there are enough non-players like me on facebook, small games are going to suffer a lot because every such "hide it for me, thanks" is going to count as a negative vote. If you're not Zynga with a gazillon of players on your virtual Farm to counter-balance the non-gamers, you're screwed.

        And there are people who are on facebook either to play games or only to share news with the family. They are probably not necessarily interested into seeing photos of their friends naked or passed out or mushy pictuers of friends' babies. (Specially some players who have big friends lists to get bigger virtual farms, and thus a lot more distant acquittance they don't necessarily care about, as close friends).
        And here the situation is even worse. If you block photos of non-friends and this indeed counts as negative feed-back, by doing so, you're massively voting against lots and lots of photo different applications. Also these applications aren't even responsible for appearing on friends' news feeds : they only upload photos. It the standard "publish album on my profile" feature of face-book itself which makes them visible.

        Thus even photo uploading applications with 300k users are getting banned.

        ---

        I think the whole "based on users blocking it from news feed" stuff is asinine.
        Sorry, but given the sheer size of facebook's userbase, whatever app you take into account is *never* going to please all the users.
        There's always going to be a range of users who are not interested into it and are going to block it (for no reason other that they don't see any use of having it in the news-feed).
        So either they need to relax the banning criteria. Or we're going to see a massive ban of applications just because some part of the users-base does not share the same interests as another part. Taken to its extreme conclusion, this will lead to a facebook were there's nothing.
        Except maybe Farmville (as it has a big enough share among facebook to compensate the blocking).
        And applications uploading kittens (because everyone likes kittens).

        • by rjstanford (69735)

          If there are enough non-players like me on facebook, small games are going to suffer a lot because every such "hide it for me, thanks" is going to count as a negative vote. If you're not Zynga with a gazillon of players on your virtual Farm to counter-balance the non-gamers, you're screwed.

          Of course, if your relatively-unpopular game doesn't auto-spam by posting hundreds of updates on every player's wall, you won't have this problem in the first place...

  • I can see blocking new uploads if, for instance, an unfamiliar app has been picked up by spammers who are using it to flood the service with bimbots or whatever.

    But the next step shouldn't be to just delete everything ever uploaded by that app. The next step is to take a look at the uploaded data, say, "Oh, hey, there's a whole bunch of older uploads that look legitimate," and then take steps to block the spammers rather than the tool.

    What next, deleting all accounts created by users running Chromium?

    • SPAM wasn't the criteria.
      Popularity is the reason behind the recent massive ban of apps.

      Until recently it was probably based on number of users, votes/likes, user complains, etc.

      Recently they seem to have changed the criteria. Apparently, if some users decide to hide content from the news-feeds of the main page (like hiding reports from games or hiding pictures) it counts as negative vote for said apps (games and photo uploaders).

      Lots of users aren't on facebook for games and are not interested to know the

    • by rjstanford (69735)

      Distributing the secret key (ie: password) of a somewhat popular application to the masses is probably why the app was blocked...

  • I am disappointed.

    I would like some reaction from FB administration as to /why/ they banned the kipi plugin. Has anyone followed up on this?

    On another note, I use Chrome and TFA's website is a mess.

    --
    BMO

  • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:50AM (#36593848) Journal

    Facebook gets to decide how and when you use their site. The best solution is to use something else if you want to access and store your files on your terms. I use Facebook, but I treat it as a secondary system for whatever feature they have. Do not rely on anything related to Facebook as your primary method to do something like store photos, IM, E-mail, etc. The files were deleted to send a message, that you have to use their implementation of a feature if you want to use it at all.

    Probably the worst example of Facebook's policy abuses is the censorship. Try making a status update linking to a site critical of Facebook's policies, or about blocking ads on Facebook, link to Firefox and Ad Block Plus. See how long it takes for your status to disappear. Or if it doesn't, ask your friends if they can see it, you might find that it has been made invisible to everyone but you.

    • by mathfeel (937008)

      ....See how long it takes for your status to disappear. Or if it doesn't, ask your friends if they can see it, you might find that it has been made invisible to everyone but you.

      Running experiment now...So I posted a link to a greasemonkey script that blocks facebook ads: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/46560 [userscripts.org] It's been an hr now and my friend and I can still see it on my profile.

      • by xaxa (988988)

        Running experiment now...So I posted a link to a greasemonkey script that blocks facebook ads: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/46560 [userscripts.org] It's been an hr now and my friend and I can still see it on my profile.

        Try posting a link to The Pirate Bay, for example (even in a chat). It disappears immediately for me.

    • by dbIII (701233)

      Probably the worst example of Facebook's policy abuses is the censorship

      I'm tempted to censor Facebook myself and block the entire thing.
      From the sysadmin side their policy abuse is to ignore all the conventions of a well behaved website - backdating all their content to the year 2000, forbidding caching and forcing refreshes every minute. There are so many pipes clogged with Facebook content that is not dynamic and only needs to be loaded once - get half a dozen people in an office logged into Facebook an

  • Dear Mark Suckerberg,

    May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits. Thank you for deleting my photos that I've uploaded via KDE.

    - Facebook User
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:51AM (#36593860)

    Second last paragraph, last sentence.
    "your ... time spent on Facebook are the product."
    Which means that any app that allows you to participate on Facebook without spending time on Facebook is a threat to Facebook's business model.

  • Yet another reason that users might think twice before depending on Facebook for photo storage.

    Slashdot politics aside - why would anyone depend on Facebook to store their photos? Sharing them, yes - but as your repository? That's not even close to its defined purpose.

    • I had the same thought... "yet another reason? who the fork relies on FB to STORE their photos?"
      • who the fork relies on FB to STORE their photos?

        Some of my friends don't keep regular backups.
        And they got their laptops stolen/broken/on fire/lost at see/fallen into a deep snow crevasse/whatever.

        For them, the copy uploaded on Facebook was the last remaining copy.
        If these pictures where uploaded with KDE or one of the many other banned photo-uploading plugins (some thread even mentions plugins banned with more than 300k users - so potentially the whole débâcle could affect half a million users, not only the +2'500 users of KIPI), they are lost

  • by marcello_dl (667940) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @01:53AM (#36593876) Homepage Journal

    they should have not removed the old content but quarantined it, so users who request their photos back can have it.
    I barely read TFS but if KDE used the same API key so that the user doesn't need to get its own, they have made a rather banal mistake.

    Anyway, the problem is Facebook, Google, et al. are not at your service, they build stuff upon you. You agree to that for short term convenience? It makes sense, just don't expect anything more durable. We are shifting from closed source software to open software on closed networks, and we'll end up with the same problems.

    • they should have not removed the old content but quarantined it, so users who request their photos back can have it.

      That requires a whole new project in and of itself, including creating/testing software to download the photos, setting up a helpdesk to deal with problems/complaints, et cetera. And the software broke the site its TOS, I don't see any reason to put extra money into users who break the TOS.

    • they should have not removed the old content but quarantined it, so users who request their photos back can have it.

      They did so, according to one administrator [facebook.net].
      Except that, the end-users are in no position to get their own pictures back.
      Only the application writer (in KIPI's case Dirk Tilger [facebook.net]) can request an appeal on the ban to have both the application and the uploaded content restored.

  • Autobot rampage (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "NOTE: The ban-bot appears to be out of control. Apps are being banned with no warning and no email. The forum moderators are trying to get someone from Facebook to investigate."
    http://forum.developers.facebook.net/viewtopic.php?id=93361

  • Why should facebook, or any other site, care what application is used to upload pictures? As long as the image is a supported format and within any size limits the site may impose, what difference does it make what application the user is using?

    • Because if they can kill spammy apps faster than users check their accounts, then they reduce the apparant spam by the actions the app did simply dissapearing.

      • by grahamm (8844)

        I must admit that I have never uploaded photos to facebook, but doesn't the user have to be logged in to upload photos? In which case take action against users who spam rather than banning the tool the user uses to upload to the site.

        • The app can do things that the user is not very aware of with their permission.

          • by xophos (517934) *

            If the user is careless enough to use an app that spams without their permission, they deserve loosing their data and being banned.

            • If the user is careless enough to use an app that spams without their permission

              How do you recommend that users become more careful in determining whether or not a particular app will spam before using it?

        • by DrYak (748999)

          The applications also needs an IP key.
          That's the thing which got banned.

          A massive number of applications (mostly games and photo-uploading apps) got banned because suddenly, Facebook started to take into account when users hide content from their friends on the main page's news feed.

          When too many "hide" happen, the application is flagged as "unpopular", its API key is revoked, and all generated/uploaded content is quarantined, until the developer has successfully appealed.

  • when facebook is myspace
  • Hmmm, hadn't Mark Zuckerberg used KDE in The Social Network?

    • by syousef (465911)

      Hmmm, hadn't Mark Zuckerberg used KDE in The Social Network?

      You do realize that film is not a documentary. There was a lot of artistic license.

  • He writes: "While I use Facebook and other sites, I always keep local copies of photos or anything else that I share."

    OK, human stupidity is boundless, so I'm sure there's someone out there who uploads all their photos to Facebook and then deletes the local copies... but seriously, anyone that stupid is not going to make it three-quarters of the way through that article to read Mr Brockmeier's sage advice.

    • by syousef (465911)

      He writes: "While I use Facebook and other sites, I always keep local copies of photos or anything else that I share."

      OK, human stupidity is boundless, so I'm sure there's someone out there who uploads all their photos to Facebook and then deletes the local copies... but seriously, anyone that stupid is not going to make it three-quarters of the way through that article to read Mr Brockmeier's sage advice.

      The more likely scenario is that they keep 1 local copy and the hard drive then dies. Or accidentally erase (or lose or have stolen) files on their camera they uploaded directly from the card without locally copying.

      I know a lot of people that dump their cameras very rarely. I would not call them wise to do so, but they aren't all stupid people. They just don't care or don't realize they care until they get bitten because they're not use to managing data. Me? I keep multiple local copies and off site copies

  • by clickclickdrone (964164) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @02:59AM (#36594170)
    I'm frankly astounded anyone would consider Facebook or any similar sites for primary storage. Hello, I wouldn't even trust Flickr. If you have important data, look after it yourself. Sure, use online as part of the solution but not the primary store.
    • by macshit (157376)

      I'm frankly astounded anyone would consider Facebook or any similar sites for primary storage. Hello, I wouldn't even trust Flickr. If you have important data, look after it yourself. Sure, use online as part of the solution but not the primary store.

      It would be really neat to have some application that allows easy automatic syncing between multiple photo sites... flickr->picasa, picasa->flickr, etc. Then one could easily upload wherever is most convenient, and replicate for safety (sure one can upload multiple times, but ... this way would seem to make the bookkeeping eaiser, and often there is metadata etc one adds online that it would be nice to have preserved). It's slightly risky to trust flikr/etc completely, but flickr+picasa seems much l

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Flickr is a bit different because you can pay them for enhanced service, in which case you think you could legitimately expect them to make an effort. I pay $5/year for an extra 20GB of Google storage. I also keep my own backups, but I also expect Google not to delete my uploaded photos or gmail account etc. Backups will save you from disaster but the work involved, particularly with email, is considerable.

  • Personally I wouldn't depend on any third-party service to store any of my data. The potential for connectivity issues (at my end, theirs, or in-between), bankruptcy, disgruntled/malicious employees, security breaches, etc, all make me very wary indeed of entrusting my data to someone else's hard drive, and I really don't understand why anyone would do so. (I understand the arguments, I just personally believe that it's not worth the potential risks, especially for files that are essentially irreplaceable l

  • by oever (233119) on Tuesday June 28, 2011 @04:04AM (#36594452) Homepage

    Each application on facebook get's a private API. In FOSS, this key is present in the source code. That is not permissible according to facebook terms of service. In effect, they are blocking FOSS software. An alternative is to use a different key for each user.

    More info: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=276609 [kde.org]

    • by ray_mccrae (78654)

      I'm no license expert, but I don't think that's right. FOSS software can link to non-FOSS components just fine. For example the Firefox source code is is open source, but the icons and artwork in the official build are not openly available. The private API key could be externalised from the source code.

  • by mmcuh (1088773)
    ...if someone were to dig out the API keys from all closed-source clients, they would get banned too? I seriously doubt that any of them use any sort of obfuscation.
  • Yet another reason that users might think twice before depending on Facebook for photo storage.

    I'm not sure why someone would want to be completely dependent on an online company to store their photos. Sure, it's nice to be able to show them off over the web, but I still think it would be wise for people to keep their own copies somewhere, just in case.

  • the customers are the advertisers.

    the users are simply bait to bring the advertisers. their purpose is to bring eyeballs to see adverts.

    whenever you use a free service online, ask yourself this: who is paying for this service, and what obligation do they have to me to continue to provide this service until *I* don't want or need it any more, rather than being able to close the service on a whim.
  • From http://bugs.developers.facebook.net/show_bug.cgi?id=18701 [facebook.net]:

    The way OAuth2 is handled by your platform allows in principle anyone to impersonate our application, as all that's needed is getting to know our application ID, which can be easily obtained from the URL of the application page. If you feel our application has been used to send spam to other users, it has certainly not been done by our code.

    So, either a spammer did indeed impersonate the application, or Facebook noticed that the applicationID sits there in the open, and anticipated this might happen eventually.

    A hard problem to solve for an open-source app... (and for a closed-source app too, given enough reverse engineering time by a spammer...)

    Maybe there should be a way to have "restricted" app-ids which only work in conjunction with a user login? That way, even if an app-id i

    • by rjstanford (69735)

      Note that the source code actually distributed the secret key (which is not in the URL) as well as the application key (which is). This is a not insignificant point.

      Besides, being able to spam everyone who's a friend of a logged-in user is still pretty bad.

  • Courtesy Jay Freeman:

    From the error, it actually sounds like the application had an API key distributed inside of it... which means that anyone, anywhere, could pretend to be the application.. and could use its credentials to upload anything they want.

    Yeah, right here:
    fbtalker.cpp: m_apiKey = "bf430ad869b88aba5c0c17ea6707022b";
    fbtalker.cpp: m_secretKey = "0434307e70dd12c414cc6d0928f132d8";

    To be honest, as much as I hate Facebook's developer program, sharing an API key in an end-user downloaded application (

  • What if I use konqueror as my webrowser?

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