Facebook bans ad networks

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Facebook disables ad networks

Facebook is clamping down on underhand third-party ads found in certain applications.

The social media portal has disabled two ad networks that have repeatedly violated its policies regarding deceptive marketing practices. In July 2009, Facebook updated its rules on third-party apps. Since then, two other networks have been blocked for ad-related violations and more than 100 apps have been suspended or brought into compliance.

Facebook releases app stats

According to the company's own figures, there are 300 million active Facebook users worldwide and more than 70 per cent engage with apps every month. One of the most heavily criticised Facebook apps of recent times is Farmville, which offers users virtual credits in exchange for completing market research surveys. However, users must then opt out to avoid being unwittingly subscribed to fee-paying services.

Nick Gianos, a member of the Facebook platform team, warned that the social media site will "fight aggressively" against what he described as deceptive ads. "Our policies are clear," he said. "If you're an ad network and don't comply with them, you are doing a disservice to your customers and you should expect your business opportunities on Facebook to cease."

In related news, MySpace stepped up its own campaign against ad scams earlier this week. There are four longstanding policies in the company's terms of service that relate to protecting users from underhand marketing practices. And the popular social media portal has just added a fifth, stating "promotions that include hidden renewals without specific opt-in will not be permitted".