Social network Facebook tightened rules over the way apps can automatically publish updates or tag photos in a person’s news feed today. The company said developers were abusing privileges and spamming users by auto-tagging multiple friends in photos without consent or posting the same story over and over again to different friends’ Walls.

“In the past year, we’ve noticed that a number of applications aren’t using the permission in a way that is consistent with product intent,” wrote Facebook developer liaison Jessica Lee in a blog post.

Today the company is introducing a number of policy changes. Apps can’t use a friend selector that defaults to choosing multiple people for publishing items to news feed. Users have to do their own photo-tagging and have to click a button or check a box every time a piece of content is published to their feed. Facebook is also discouraging apps from tagging products or using photo tagging for marketing, which might stand in the way of some startups like Udorse or Uppy Media.

Here are the policy changes:

  • “You must not provide users with the option to publish the same Feed story to more than one friend’s Wall at a time.” (DPP VI.A.2)
  • “You can tag a photo only with the express consent of the user on whose behalf you are doing the tagging, and must only tag images when the tag accurately labels what is depicted in the image.” (DPP V.13)
  • “You must not publish a Feed story unless a user has explicitly indicated an intention to share that content, by clicking a button or checking a box that clearly explains their content will be shared.” (DPP VI.A.1)