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Facebook Bans Its Most Useful App

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Social networking is about making connections, yes. Virtually hobnobbing with potential mates as well as old friends, family, coworkers, etc. But let's be frank, it's chief use is stalking, and don't let anyone tell you different.

Facebook was essentially made for folks to check up on those who've wronged them in the past and, conversely, safely and silently stalk those who never gave them the time of day in the first place. Every status update, every wall post, every relationship description pored through and analyzed within every possible context -- biding your time until the perfect moment to strike with a seemingly errant "poke."

But of course, even with a mobile app, retaining an online stalking vigil is very time consuming -- which was briefly mitigated with the fantastic Facebook app Breakup Notifier.

Breakup Notifier allowed users to choose Facebook members whose relationship status was a point of interest to you. Upon any change, Breakup Notifier emailed you a message detailing the change. So let's say, hypothetically, that girl you danced with at the Junior Formal twenty years ago broke up with her boyfriend. Wouldn't it be nice to be the first "blast from the past" to cheer her up? Well, Breakup Notifier is there to help.

But I should say "was there." This week, after topping 3.6 million users, Facebook shut down the operation. According to TechCrunch, creator Dan Loewenherz received this message from Facebook after an inordinate amount of API calls:

"To ensure positive user experiences on Platform, we run routine automated screens that take user feedback, machine learning and various algorithms into account and remove spammy applications. For example, if an application is making an inordinate number of stream.publish calls and receiving a large number of user reports, it may be removed by our automated systems to protect the user experience and the Platform ecosystem."

Loewenherz is reportedly willing to comply to any request Facebook has regarding his app in order to get it back up and running. But that might be a touchy area: Facebook also disabled Loewenherz's personal account.
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