Whopper Sacrifice Forced to Disable Behavior by Facebook (Updated)

A week after the Whopper Sacrifice application made waves for its creative (and aggressive) use of Facebook friend removals as a way to spread the application, Facebook has forced it to disable the app’s functionality, according to the developer.

Facebook has clarified that it has not shut the app down – it still exists – but rather it has required the developer to remove its functionality for violating users’ expectations of privacy. Normally, no notification is sent when a user removes a friend on Facebook. However, the Whopper Sacrifice application posted a feed story letting others know the friend was being sacrificed for a Whopper before finalizing the removal.

“We encourage creativity from developers and companies using Facebook Platform, but we also must ensure that applications meet users’ expectations. After constructive conversations with Burger King and the developer of the application, they have decided to conclude their campaign rather than continue with the restrictions we placed on their application,” a Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook in an updated statement.

During the last week, the app was used by 82,000 people to delete over 230,000 friendships on Facebook. Users who “sacrificed” at least 10 friends received a coupon for a free Whopper at Burger King.

The app, developed by Refresh Partners and Crispin Porter, quickly became a hit the same day it launched.

whoppersacrificed

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80 Responses to “Whopper Sacrifice Forced to Disable Behavior by Facebook (Updated)”

  1. Dan Shust says:

    You knew this had to happen eventually.

  2. Miguel says:

    More press for BK

  3. Cory O'Brien says:

    If Facebook wants to disable the notification feature, BK should fight back, and turn it into one big publicity stunt. They’ve already received tons of press for this, so why not milk out a little more? (Having a TV commercial with that freaky King guy at a fake press conference about the take-down would be stellar.)

    http://thefutureofads.com/2009/01/09/burger-king-lets-people-sacrifice-friendships-for-whoppers/

  4. Sacrificado el Whopper Sacrifice « Blog LaPubli Studios says:

    [...] el Whopper Sacrifice 14Ene09 Nos avisa Justin Smith que una semana después del rotundo éxito del Whopper Sacrifice, Facebook, que todavía no ha dado [...]

  5. Tonia Ries says:

    I agree with Cory. More publicity for BK and they should run with it. Start a group on FB to fight it, etc. Was there any evidence of FB users complaining about the “privacy violations”?

  6. Ivan Nunez says:

    I think the notification feature is not what makes the application a success. Rather, it is the idea that users may be willing to sacrifice friends for a Whopper that makes the application intriguing.

    While I did not install the application (I have no friends that I want to dump; love you all!!), I would be annoyed if dumping friends showed in my news feed.

    I think showing in the news feed that the application was added is enough to promote it.

  7. Jame-Ane Ervin says:

    That’s sad, because I thought it was pretty funny. Except when some of my friend (remaining nameless) said they would sacrifice me. ;)

  8. Paul Osborne says:

    I think that part of the problem was also that the application may have been violating some of the terms that restrict caching of users information (including friend relationships) more than 24 hours. If the BK app kept track of these relationships for more than 24 hours then they would be in violation of the privacy policy.

    According to the TOS, developers can store the users id (for use as a primary key in a DB for example) but not much else. Additional information that is persisted is restricted to application specific information (which would not include the friend relationships or number of total friends at a given time).

  9. Facebook takes bite out of Whopper Sacrifice » VentureBeat says:

    [...] app has 82,771 monthly active users, with more than 230,000 friendships sacrificied so far. The app was built for Burger King by Refresh Partners in [...]

  10. Facebook DeFriends A Mischevious King | BFG Blog says:

    [...] disabled the “Whopper Sacrifice” app after 82,000 Facebook users gleefully deleted some 230,000 [...]

  11. Josh Self says:

    Yea, this ap seemed kind of counter-productive for Facebook. Great for BK but it removes connections with other people on FB and connections is what makes FB and social media successful.

  12. Brian says:

    Cory that is a really smart idea that BK should run with.

    If I were BK I would fight this all the way through litigation. The press they will get from this will out surpass any potential reach they would ever get with the app itself.

  13. Facebook Blows A Whopper Of An Opportunity says:

    [...] from users. This is the future of advertising. Or it could have been, if Facebook hadn’t shut it down, citing privacy issues: We encourage creativity from developers and brands using Facebook Platform, [...]

  14. Adrian Eden says:

    my personal opinion is that the campaign was lacking anyway, marketing campaigns and internet marketing are getting really boring nowadays, very predictable. heres an idea, sell a product for a set price, taxes included, and work on having top quality and then the product will sell itself.

    sorry for the grammar.

    Adrian

  15. heatfan says:

    I sacrificed 10 friend to get my free Whopper. They took the best part of the app, your friends getting a message that they were being sacrificed for a Whopper. If you did not want your friend to know that you had sacrificed them for a free Whopper, then you should not had used the App.

  16. Facebookがビッグチャンスを逃がした says:

    [...] Facbookは大喜び、だよね。有名ブランドがいかにユーザーを強く引きつけるかをマジソン街の代理店たちに見せつけるのに、この以上の事例はない。いや、そうだったはずだ、Facebookがプライバシー問題を掲げてこのアプリを禁止してさえいなければ。 Facebookプラットホームをお使いの開発者やブランドのみなさんには創造性を発揮していただくことをお薦めしておりますが、一方でプライバシーに関するユーザーの期待にも答える必要があります。このアプリケーションは、ユーザーが友人を削除したことを人に伝えることによってユーザーのプライバシーに反する行為を助長しています。当該開発者に連絡を取り、解決案を提示してあります。並行してユーザーのみなさまがFacebook上で確立した信頼を守るべき手段をとらせていただきました。 [...]

  17. Love. The Cool » Facebook Is Like Even Lamer Than Burger King says:

    [...] Facebook shutdown the Whopper Sacrifice campaign, which had users un-friend 10 people for a free hamburger, lamely citing privacy issues. [...]

  18. When Facebook Policy Goes Wrong says:

    [...] today Facebook shut down the highly successful Burger King Whopper Sacrifice application. The application that we previously [...]

  19. » Facebook takes bite out of Whopper Sacrifice CMG Digital Group says:

    [...] app has 82,771 monthly active users, with more than 230,000 friendships sacrificied so far. It was built for Burger King by Refresh Partners in partnership [...]

  20. Ray Angel says:

    Good! This application violated SEVERAL Facebook Developer TOS statements. A thread on the developer forums listing out each violation had several pages going.

  21. Burger King Lets People Sacrifice Friendships For Whoppers | The Future of Ads says:

    [...] privacy are maintained. The application remains active on Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook. “We encourage creativity from developers and brands using Facebook Platform, but we also must [...]

  22. Whopper Sacrifice has been… sacrificed, twice:) | Ionut Oprea says:

    [...] Gasiti o analiza completa a campaniei aici. Iar daca va pasioneaza diavolul din detalii, aici e o explicatie a motivului pentru care a fost “sacrificata” aplicatia pe Facebook. [...]

  23. Facebook required changes to Whopper Sacrifice | Kristofer Mencák says:

    [...] it seems Facebook has required changes to the application due to privacy issues, according to Inside Facebook. “Facebook has clarified that it has not shut the app down – it still exists – but rather [...]

  24. Facebook disables BK's Whopper Sacrifice app | The Responsible Marketing Blog says:

    [...] Facebook shut the application down citing privacy concerns. According to Inside Facebook, it was because the site “sent a notification to the friend being removed letting them know [...]

  25. BK’s ‘Whopper Sacrifice’ Burned on the Altar of Privacy | Media News: Internet Marketing & Online Advertisng says:

    [...] reached out to the developer with suggested solutions,” Facebook said in a comment to the Inside Facebook Blog. “In the meantime, we are taking the necessary steps to assure the trust users have [...]

  26. Search marketing is still going strong | socialmediainfluence.com says:

    [...] response to a hugely successful Burger King viral campaign; commenters on the TechCrunch story and Inside Facebook coverage are in agreement – their response serves only to generate more publicity for BK. [...]

  27. eMediaOne » Blog Archive » Facebook Blows A Whopper Of An Opportunity says:

    [...] from users. This is the future of advertising. Or it could have been, if Facebook hadn’t shut it down, citing privacy issues: We encourage creativity from developers and brands using Facebook Platform, [...]

  28. Eloi Ndaba says:

    Good.

  29. The Scripts Zone » Facebook Blows A Whopper Of An Opportunity says:

    [...] from users. This is the future of advertising. Or it could have been, if Facebook hadn’t shut it down, citing privacy issues: We encourage creativity from developers and brands using Facebook Platform, [...]

  30. Whopper sacrifice suspendu par facebook | Le5emeP.fr says:

    [...] sacrifice, l’application facebook qui a fait le tour du web, en un temps record. Hier, le blog Insidefacebook.com nous apprenait que l’application de Burger King avait été désactivée [...]

  31. Delete 10 Facebook Friends = Get A Free Whopper | BRAND INFECTION says:

    [...] Facebook shut it down due to privacy issues as they say. 233,906 friends were removed by 82,771 people in less than a [...]

  32. Maggie says:

    I would be totally psyched if they kept the app but disabled the de-friend notification! That’s the whole reason I didn’t want to do it. Maybe it’s a generational thing–and this is totally my observation–but I think recent Facebook converts take “friend” way too seriously and being “de-friended” would cause all kinds of real-life drama. (I am 40, to give you an idea of where my perspective comes from). For “young” people Facebook is more casual and more about fun–if you know a person, or a person one of your people knows, or whatever–you friend them but don’t think much of it. It’s more of a popularity thing to have a million friends. But the older demographic that is joining Facebook in droves was most likely dragged kicking and screaming and was very skeptical about the whole thing–then started loving it as they connected with old friends. It’s way more personal for “older” people–and they would definitely be offended to be “de-friended.”

    Again, that’s just my perspective…so back to my original point–that demographic might be more willing to participate if people couldn’t see they’d been defriended.

  33. Corporate sponsered nihilism on Facebook - Whahh? « {UNTITLED} says:

    [...] from users. This is the future of advertising. Or it could have been, if Facebook hadn’t shut it down, citing privacy issues… Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)“Facebook [...]

  34. Facebook vs Burger King » ronpoint.com | Internet, Marketing and More says:

    [...] beendete diese Kampagne nun mit einem Hinweis auf die Privacy der Daten. We encourage creativity from developers and [...]

  35. WomenCertified says:

    I knew this was a disaster as soon as it was announced. Women in particular wouldn’t go for being publicly put down as not worth a tenth of a Whopper. Facebook covered up their own complicity in this foolishness by hiding behind their sudden concern for privacy. Ineptness rules at FB, BK and Crispin Porter on this one. At WomenCertified we could teach them something about marketing and selling to women.

  36. Burger King’s “Whopper Sacrifice” Has Officially Been Sacrificed « Kreuzer’s Korner says:

    [...] from users. This is the future of advertising. Or it could have been, if Facebook hadn’t shut it down, citing privacy issues: “We encourage creativity from developers and brands using Facebook [...]

  37. ArticleSave :: Uncategorized :: Facebook Blows A Whopper Of An Opportunity says:

    [...] from users. This is the future of advertising. Or it could have been, if Facebook hadn’t shut it down, citing privacy issues: We encourage creativity from developers and brands using Facebook Platform, [...]

  38. Internet Evolution - Todd Watson - Royale With Cheese says:

    [...] Facebook reports that the “creative (and aggressive) use of Facebook friend removals as a way to spread the [Whopper [...]

  39. On Facebook, You Cannot Have it Your Way : The Drama 2.0 Show says:

    [...] for Burger King, you cannot have it your way on Facebook. The Palo Alto-based social network shuttered Whopper Sacrifice earlier this week citing privacy concerns. The problem: the Whopper Sacrifice app informed those unfortunate users [...]

  40. Facebook Blows A Whopper Of An Opportunity | Webtrendblog.com says:

    [...] from users. This is the future of advertising. Or it could have been, if Facebook hadn’t shut it down, citing privacy issues: We encourage creativity from developers and brands using Facebook Platform, [...]

  41. BK’s ‘Whopper Sacrifice’ Burned on the Altar of Privacy says:

    [...] reached out to the developer with suggested solutions,” Facebook said in a comment to the Inside Facebook Blog. “In the meantime, we are taking the necessary steps to assure the trust users have [...]

  42. It’s a nice day to start again (with social networking bankruptcy?) - limeduck says:

    [...] King’s mildly controversial and thoroughly amusing (at least to me) whopper sacrifice program seems to have upped the ante on my gag.  Short form: they’ll give you a free whopper [...]

  43. nathanr|ca » Facebook Blows A Whopper Of An Opportunity says:

    [...] from users. This is the future of advertising. Or it could have been, if Facebook hadn’t shut it down, citing privacy [...]

  44. Badsha Topu says:

    today i gt a msg like disable warning thn i can’t send fnd requst i never misuse my facebook y i can’t facebook disabled my account for adding too many people. i dont understand…if the point of facebook is to add friends, why is there now a limit on how many people you add. And if you add to many people, hoping to get back on soon. I just enjoy using the site. my facebook has just been disabled and it’s really frustrating…i want it back. There is no “Abuse” as they like to put it.
    Help please!
    Thank you

  45. Whopper Sacrifice Shut Down! Results Are In! | Digital Buzz Blog says:

    [...] lived) whopper sacrifice campaign on face book has been stopped. But not actually by face book, according to Inside Facebookonly a small feature of the campaign (albeit the most important one!) was forced to be disabled, [...]

  46. Whopper Sacrifice « Broadvision says:

    [...] 19, 2009 A cautionary tale about the dangers of treading too close to the line of Facebook terms and conditions. Burger King [...]

  47. Elisava Escuela Superior de Diseño - Postgrado en Diseño y Estrategias de Comunicación - Blog COM » Whopper Sacrifice by Burger King says:

    [...] Inside Facebook, la cadena de restaurantes consiguió que 82.000 usuarios borraran 230.000 contactos, sin embargo, [...]

  48. My Facebook Unfriends Feed Me - Undercurrents says:

    [...] a week after Whopper Sacrifice launched, Facebook did ask the developer to disable one functionality of the application – its ability to notify the friend who was being [...]

  49. Burger King: Aus 1 mach 2umalltagskakophonie says:

    [...] nehmen würde. Und genau das ist jetzt passiert. Facebook hat die Aktion gestoppt – offiziell mit folgender Begründung: We encourage creativity from developers and brands using Facebook Platform, but we also must [...]

  50. New Media Chatter » Blog Archive » Your Week In Review says:

    [...] know though, Facebook has issues too! Get this, Facebook shut down the Whopper Sacrifice application! In the week prior 82,000 people removed 230,000 friends! Facebook claims there were “privacy [...]

  51. Facebook: A veces si, a veces…definitivamente no. « Web developer busca… says:

    [...] poco, Burguer King hizo de las suyas y los de la red social tuvieron que tomar cartas en el asunto. El final es que a Burger King todo [...]

  52. Whopper < Privacy | Birds on a Wire says:

    [...] http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/01/14/whopper-sacrifice-shut-down-by-facebook/ [...]

  53. James Egan says:

    Could we say that Burger King was being anti-social?

  54. Facebook allows Multi Level Marketing MLM | Social Media | Core says:

    [...] recently shut down a Crispin Porter campaign for Burger King called Whopper Sacrifice but closed it down due to privacy issues. Which got me thinking about how Facebook allowing Multi Level Marketing applications on their [...]

  55. שלוש זירות אינטרנטיות שחברות צריכות להשתמש בהן - וגם להיזהר מהן | Refresh - content power שרותי תוכן, ניהול תוכן, בלוגים ארגוניים, בלוגים עסקיים says:

    [...] עליהם, וגם השיגה באזז לא קטן סביב המוצר שלה: וופר. לבסוף הושלכה ברגר קינג מפייסבוק אבל מנהלי הקמפיין כבר השיגו את [...]

  56. The rules of social connections. « Mindspike Public Relations says:

    [...] “Whopper Sacrifice” lasted until January 14th when Facebook disabled an element of the program that violated users “expectations” of privacy. There’s a debate in there somewhere, and Burger King could have continued with the program’s fixes, but the meat of this burger-selling story is the remarkable lengths BK’s agency (Crispin, Porter + Bogusky) went to sell Whoppers. [...]

  57. 5 Ways Recession Is Changing Our Lives | Trendsspotting says:

    [...] doubled to 54,000 within an year. And how about exchanging your 10 Facebook friends for a free Burger-King whooper? Within a week after its launch 82,000 people bartered over 230,000 friendships on Facebook for a [...]

  58. Facebook Disabled says:

    I would recommend you to visit FacebookDisabled. It explains in detail how to get your Facebook account back if it was disabled.

  59. HARVEY ANDERSON says:

    Greedings to all FaceBook users my FaceBook account was “DISABLE” 05-03-09 for to many friends request. but when you read the terms of Agreedment it dose not say how many friend request you can add like for example you can only add 50/100/75 something like that but when you read the Agreedment it dose not say anything about that. but at the end of the day i realy like FaceBook thank you.HARVEY

  60. Facebook retira una aplicación de Burger King por vulnerar la privacidad « Telematica & Linux says:

    [...] Inside Facebook, la cadena de restaurantes consiguió que 82.000 usuarios borraran 230.000 contactos, sin embargo, [...]

  61. delete facebook friends says:

    nice information…thanks for sharing…

  62. I Am The Sharper Image says:

    Sometimes the truth hurts. I think Facebook was afraid of the sacrifices people like me would make. For example: I would sacrifice Facebook for a Whopper.

  63. Paolo blog: Ramblings on Web2.0, Trust, Reputation, Recommender Systems, Social Software, Free Software, ICT4D and much more » Blog Archive » Dump 10 Facebook friends and get a free sandwich! says:

    [...] InsideFacebook reports that in one week, the app was used by 82,000 people to delete over 230,000 friendships on Facebook. Then Facebook placed some restrictions on the application and Burger King decided to conclude their campaign. In fact, Burger King got what it wanted: attention! In few days! Creative use of social networking marketing!!! If you enjoyed reading this, subscribe to my RSS Feed(you can always unsubscribe later) SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “Dump 10 Facebook friends and get a free sandwich!”, url: “http://www.gnuband.org/2009/06/09/dump_10_facebook_friends_and_get_a_free_sandwich/” }); [...]

  64. 8 Ways Restaurants Can Use Facebook Pages (and Not Fail Like Burger King) says:

    [...] and that includes what they’ve done on Facebook — who can forget the Whopper Sacrifice application, where you could de-friend people in exchange for a free burger. But this cleverness has not [...]

  65. WEEK 7 « Stuff we like says:

    [...] http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/01/14/whopper-sacrifice-shut-down-by-facebook/ [...]

  66. Internet Marketing in 2010 — anthonyhereld.com says:

    [...] media has been a disaster for some big name brands.  Who can forget Burger King’s Whopper Sacrifice on Facebook, or the Quiznos 2 Girls, 1 Sub video?  Social media can be a powerful thing, but the [...]

  67. Review: BK’s Whopper Sacrifice Facebook Application Generates Heat « Social Media at Work says:

    [...] Inside Facebook reports that Facebook has partially disabled the application, citing “privacy issues” with [...]

  68. Want to commit Facebook suicide? No, really, there’s an app for that! | 48da Tech News says:

    [...] Facebook hates apps or groups that condone social suic– unfriending. Apparently there was aBurger King promotion that rewarded you with a free Whopper if you went through with a ‘Whopper Sacrifice’ and unfriended 10 people — it [...]

  69. 2 Ways to Design a Social Media Strategy « Online Contests and Entrepreneurship says:

    [...] is being novel and fun. Burger King is a great brand example with their subservient chicken and unfriend Facebook campaign. This works great for brands that spend a ton of money on lots of short campaigns arnd are willing [...]

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  71. g.calvin weston says:

    iam unable to send message..why..can if you know my work,i am one of the world’s greatest drummer
    and this is one of the way’s i promote my gig’s and my work,to lot’s of promoter’s all over the world.i’ve played with one of the world’s greatest musician like ornette coleman-james blood ulmer john lurie james carter jamaaladeen tacuma and many other’s..so i hope that facebook can fix this soon..you can check out some of my work and myspace.com/calvinweston myspace.com/bigtree806 myspace.com/freeformfunkyfreqs with veron reid from living colour.thanks,,gcalvinweston@gmail.com

  72. The Price of Friendship… says:

    [...] networks to spread the brand while drawing even more attention from the victims of the “Whopper Sacrifice.” The marketing program allowed users of Facebook to sacrifice friends in exchange for food. [...]

  73. best interest rates on savings says:

    That must be a real pain, after all the development that went into Whopper Sacrifice application

  74. Chump Dump : Get Rid Of “Friends” On Twitter « the Young Masterminds says:

    [...] serious; gain points for ceasing to follow people on twitter. The app recalls Crispin Porter’s Whopper Sacrifice campaign for unfriending people on Facebook, but has a much purer and utilitarian result in mind—clean up [...]

  75. How to Avoid a Social Media Lawsuit | OfficeAid Administrative Support says:

    [...] contests that Facebook simply won’t allow,” notes Germano. “Everyone thought the Burger King Whopper Sacrifice back in 2009 was a great campaign, when in reality by Facebook rules it was illegal and eventually [...]

  76. 5 similarities between being a real NCAA bball fan & being a real social media strategist « socialallie says:

    [...] get shut down! If you know the rules, you can play on the line in just the right way. Remember Burger King’s “Whopper Sacrifice? ” Though it was eventually shut down by Facebook, its creators knew the risks associated with [...]

  77. Social Media Madness: 5 ways to be a real NCAA bball fan & a great social media strategist « socialallie says:

    [...] get shut down! If you know the rules, you can play on the line in just the right way. Remember Burger King’s “Whopper Sacrifice? ” Though it was eventually shut down by Facebook, its creators knew the risks associated with [...]

  78. Social Media Marketing Vs. Advertising: Facebook Kinda Sucks.MBMagazine | Ottawa's Premiere Advertising, Classic Marketing + Social Media Marketing Blog! says:

    [...] Well, the awesomeness of Burger King’s “Whopper Sacrifice” social media marketing campaign has come to an end. The application still exists, mind you, but it has been severely de-fanged after Facebook forced the developer to change the way it works due to “privacy concerns”. [...]

  79. When Facebook Policy Goes Wrong - AllFacebook says:

    [...] today Facebook shut down the highly successful Burger King Whopper Sacrifice application. The application that we previously [...]

  80. J456 Blog Post #1 | It's One of Those Days says:

    [...] you can. Facebook finally realized Burger was reversing their goals and soon interfered. Thus the end of the Whopper [...]

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