Facebook faces the music

Bad news, Facebook fans. It turns out the Internet is full of spammers, scammers, and naughty naughty men. Who knew?

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Bad news, Facebook fans. It turns out the Internet is full of spammers, scammers, and naughty naughty men. Who knew?

Three months after opening its APIs to the world and inviting developers to build applications for the surging social network, Facebook has decided to close those doors just a wee bit.

The reason? Application developers are using spam tactics and viral marketing to the point of influenza, making many Facebookers sorry they installed the things in the first place.

Take the "Likeness" application, developed by somebody named Peter Louis. This silly little applet lets you take a quiz to find out how much you are like/unlike your friends and/or celebrities. (You and Britney both love getting trashed on Cosmos? You must be soul mates.) Stupid and harmless, right?

But like most Facebook applications, you cannot install Likeness without sharing your basic profile information. And once you do, it nags you to invite all your friends to join the party and install the developer's other applications.

Here's what one Facebooker has to say about Likeness:

This thing SUCKS. Every time I deselect my all my friends because I do NOT want to spam everyone every five minutes, it won't tell me my results. It simply errors out. Of course, every time I include just one friend to spam it doesn't error out. Convenient. I am not doing any more of these.

Here's another:

Hey "Peter," quit making your apps function by being dependent on each other, you're turning into a major douche here.....There is no excuse for this behaviour, and it calls into question the motives behind the creation of these applications.....Is this just a huge Data-Mining exercise?

And a third:

Please ... don't send me emails about a friend wanting to see how alike we are. Apps should only email users if they've added the app, otherwise you're just viral spam. I'm blocking your app because of this.

That's the trouble with random third-party developers. You invite them in for tea, and a few weeks later you discover that the fine silver is missing and your daughter's knocked up.

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