Facebook Adds Open Graph User RestrictionsBy: Zach Walton - May 24, 2012
The past week has been big for Facebook what with the IPO, Zuckerberg’s marriage and the fallout following a reportedly botched IPO. Nothing can stop Facebook, however, as it marches towards whatever the future may hold. Thankfully, that future includes the weekly developer love updates.
There’s only one major update this week, but it’s potentially a big one. Facebook has added the ability to block Open Graph stories to specific users. You are probably familiar with Open Graph by now, but it allows apps to integrate with Facebook on an intimate level. From here, users can post stories to Facebook through the apps. It’s these stories, which can come from a multitude of sources, that Facebook hopes to regulate.
The new Open Graph user restrictions is an option that makes Open Graph stories only available to people who meet certain criteria such as “age, country or certain kinds of content.” The most obvious use of the new feature is for age-based stories. There is some content that is shared via Open Graph that is not suitable for all ages. Facebook uses the example of sharing a film that is rated NC-17. Only users over the age of 17 would be able to view the story.
The other applications are just as useful depending on the content. You may be using an app that’s not available in certain countries. Instead of having people share content that their international friends can’t partake in, the app can now publish stories knowing that it will only be available to people within participating countries.
As far as content restriction goes, the only restriction I see so far is to block content that contains alcohol. I’m sure the options for content restriction will expand as time goes on to include things like drugs, language and sexuality. Facebook does a decent job of removing offending posts, but not all drug or sex-related posts are inherently offensive. Some parents, however, will want to have this content blocked regardless.
Of course, you might want to apply more than one user restriction. You are allowed to do that, but Facebook only applies the most restrictive option to the story. They don’t clarify which option is the most restrictive so you’re going to have to experiment.
The weekly bug report resulted in 199 bugs being reported, while 40 were accepted and 15 were fixed. Check out the full post to see the full list of bugs that were fixed. The Facebook platform is currently listed as healthy so there should be no major problems at the moment.