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Facebook bans European social network for violating its policies

Facebook has reportedly banned Netlog, a European social network, from the Facebook Platform. Massive Media, Netlog's parent company, is considering complaining to the European Commission.
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Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor on

Netlog is a Belgian social network with 70 million members. It isn't well-known in the US since it is specifically targeted at the European youth demographic. Last week, Netlog allegedly violated Facebook's policies and thus got banned from the Facebook Platform, according to TechCrunch.

Facebook reportedly provided no explanation of which specific rule Netlog broke, or in what way. Nevertheless, the ban resulted in approximately 1.5 million users who used Facebook Connect to sign up for Netlog were unable to log on to the site.

Netlog was first told it was violating a brand new item in Facebook's Platform policy that was quietly added about two weeks ago. The new clause stipulates that Facebook apps can't link, promote, integrate, or redirect to any apps on any competing social platform. Netlog argues that it has never launched a canvas app on the Facebook Platform, although it was at one point considering building one.

Facebook then reportedly explained the reason for the ban was poorly communicated and that Netlog was actually banned over a different violation. "Netlog took extensive steps to access internal Facebook APIs and deliberately compromised intended limitations of our platform," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We took appropriate and necessary steps to protect people on Facebook."

Massive Media, Netlog's parent company, is of course not amused. Since Facebook initially said that Netlog got banned for linking to a competing social platform, it is reportedly considering filing a complaint against Facebook with the European Commission over "anti-competitive actions."

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