Facebook blocks extension to import friends to Google+

It appears that Facebook does not want a certain Chrome extension from importing friends from their service to Google+. The 'Facebook Friend Exporter', a Chrome browser extension, intends to make the transition between the two services more simple. As ZDNet reports, Facebook has blocked the extension. Having been designed by a worker at Research in Motion, the extension was intended to import all the friends from Facebook to a file or another service. Information on the extension was posted earlier on Neowin, as well.

According to the extension designer, Facebook has been slightly altered in order to prevent the extension from working, and it throttles the email system. Should someone view a friend's page five times in quick succession, the email field is removed. Having personally tested this, Neowin can confirm that Facebook does indeed remove email information should a page be viewed too rapidly. Despite the fact your friends have chosen to allow their email address to be viewed, Facebook is intervening in order to actually prevent you from viewing the information friends have chosen to display with you. Technically, the extension does violate the Terms of Service all Facebook users accepted:

You will not collect users’ content or information, or otherwise access Facebook, using automated means (such as harvesting bots, robots, spiders, or scrapers) without our permission.

The extension developer, Mohamed Mansour, has already made his standpoint on the situation clear. He says this on the extension information at the Chrome Web Store:

Get *your* data contact out of Facebook, whether they want you to or not. You gave them your friends and allowed them to store that data, and you have right to take it back out! Facebook doesn’t own my friends.

Interestingly, exploits have been found in order to try and keep the extension operational, and Mansour has further clarified his opinion of the world's most popular social network by saying the following on his Google+ profile:

I am bloody annoyed now, because this proves Facebook owns every users data on Facebook. You don’t own anything! If I were you, I would riot this to the media outlets again. Seriously … more motivation to figure out a different approach.

It is highly probable that either Mansour, or another developer willing to attempt to work with the locked down system, will attempt to find a way of continuing to export details from Facebook. The Friend Exporter was not originally designed for Google+, but as Google's network grows more desirable (with MySpace's Tom Anderson having said it will overtake Facebook), the number of extensions - and potentially malicious extensions intended to harvest data and send it to a third party - may also increase.

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