Facebook mistakenly disabled the apps and accounts of a number of platform developers for several hours on Tuesday. They were accidentally included in a dragnet of malicious spam apps. Today it apologized for the app outage in a transparent “post-mortem” that announced it will redouble efforts to verify apps are malicious before shutting them down.
Facebook explains, “On August 13th, we undertook such a procedure. We started with a broad pattern that correctly matched many thousands of malicious apps but, unfortunately, also matched many of your high quality apps.” It immediately began trying to fix the problem, but bugs and bottlenecks in the recovery process caused the outage to last one to two hours for most apps affected, and several more hours for the unluckiest of apps.
Outages like these are an issue because they prevent developers from providing their services to finicky users. Not only do developers lose money while they’re unable to serve payment flows, but they also can end up pushing away otherwise loyal users. Facebook has to keep the platform stable if it wants developers to be confident in building on top of it. At least it’s coming clean about what happened rather than trying to sweep it under the rug.
[Image Credit: Silicon Angle]