When programmer Dan Leowenherz released Breakup Notifier earlier this week, he didn't expect the unassuming Facebook app to garner the attention that it did. Within twenty four hours, the app, which emails users when their crushes become single, had had 100,000 users -- an unequivocal success for a program that took four hours to put together.
But shortly after it's unexpected rise came its equally unexpected plunge. Early Wednesday morning, Loewenherz received a message from Facebook informing him that his little app had been blocked. Slightly more surprising was Facebook's reason for the block, which did not come as a result of privacy concerns. Instead, in the message sent to Loewenherz, Facebook cited the large number of calls Breakup Notifier was making to Facebook's API as a possibly reason for the ban. TechCrunch posted the message:
If an application is making an inordinate number of stream. publish calls and receiving a large number of user reports, it may be removed by our automated systems to protect the user experience and the Platform ecosystem, the message said, failing to specify the exact reason for the ban.
Facebook also disabled Lowenhertz's personal Facebook account.
Breakup Notifier isn't the first app of its kind. Developer Thought Division created a similar app called Break Up Alert, which currently has 339 monthly active users on Facebook. In fact Break Up Notifier's similarities to Break Up Alert are significant enough that Lowenhertz has had defend himself against accusations of plagiarism.
Facebook has yet to respond to Lowenherz, who said that he made every attempt to closely follow Facebook's app policies.
Neither Lowenherz nor Facebook responded to calls for comment, though Lowenherz has been updating his Twitter feed.
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