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A real Whopper: Facebook de-friends Burger King


Facebook is no longer friends with Burger King, which it charges improperly used the site to pump up biz by offering users a free Whopper sandwich if they dumped 10 of their pals on the social-networking site.

Facebook disabled the fast-food chain's "Whopper Sacrifice" app this week, saying that it violated the site's privacy policy by alerting users when they were de-friended. Under normal circumstances, de-friending is a quiet, anonymous act; Facebook doesn’t inform you if you've been dumped.

Facebook says it didn’t remove the Whopper Sacrifice from its site, but told developers to make it more discreet. "We encourage creativity from developers and companies using Facebook Platform, but we also must ensure that applications meet users' expectations," a Facebook spokesperson told the blog Inside Facebook.

Apparently, that defeated the app's purpose. "Ultimately, based on philosophical differences, we decided to conclude the campaign and chose to 'sacrifice' the application," Burger King spokeswoman Katie Boylan told the Los Angeles Times.

The Whopper Sacrifice, however, remains memorialized. "Facebook has disabled Whopper Sacrifice," the app's site now says, "after your love for the Whopper sandwich proved to be stronger than 233,906 friendships."

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The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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