Facebook is screening all text strings used on the platform

It seems to me that Facebook now “screens” all the text strings that are used on Facebook objects.

I notice this after trying to create photo album for user via graph api with specific text strings.

To create a photo album, the following code (based on the PHP SDK) is used:

$albumDetails = array('name' => $name, 'access_token'=>$token']);
$result = $facebook->api('me/albums', 'POST', $albumDetails);

However, it is found that by using “certain” $name value, facebook rejects the call with error: (#1) An unknown error occurred

As an example, consider the following 2 values used in creating the album :
– “Free Profilbanner by english.profilbanner.me”
– “Free Profilbanner by english.profilbanner me”

As seen, the only difference in the 2 names is the 3rd last char, i.e. either we have the ‘dot’ or not.

For the first case, error is reported but the 2nd case goes through smoothly.  Why? What is wrong for the first case?

FYI, english.profilbanner.me has nothing related to my app that used to create the album (that problem is reported me by someone else and I am helping him to investigate the problem).  I use my Graph API Tester in reproducing the problem. So, the value of “english.profilbanner.me” has nothing related to the canvas url. canvas page, app name, site url of the app that sent out the Graph API request.

So, my conclusion is,

“english.profilbanner.me” is rejected “globally” by facebook

Well, before this incidence, I know that

  • Facebook rejects free web hosting space URL to be used as canvas URL.
  • Facebook also validates text strings used in the app name or page name etc, so that we cannot have app name like “the most funny facebook app”.

But it seems to me now that Facebook will try to validate and screen the text strings used on ALL Facebook objects (as that happens to album name now).  And mst of all, we cannot tell what is the “validation” rule.  “english.profilbanner.me” is not a free web hosting space, it does not relate to Facebook, it does not containing sensitive keywords (like “fxxk”, “what the hxll”).

Why this simple string is rejected then!?

Even when it is rejected, I think Facebook should provide us with a meaningful error, instead of a simple “An unknown error occurred”.  It takes so long to figure out what is wrong!


I had opened a bug report for this, http://bugs.developers.facebook.net/show_bug.cgi?id=18752.  To my surprise, Facebook has reponded quickly.  The site “english.profilbanner.me” is blocked.

However, to my understanding, my friends haven’t heard about or been informed about the fact that his site is blocked.

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One Response to Facebook is screening all text strings used on the platform

  1. Pingback: Facebook is screening all text strings used on the platform | Wing's Blog on Facebook Development & Virtualization

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