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Facebook documents: Mark Zuckerberg restricted Vine’s data access



Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally approved a
    decision to block video app Vine’s access to data, according to
    a batch of leaked documents.
  • The papers were published by British politician Damian
    Collins, who implied that Vine was targeted because it was
    Facebook a competitor.
  • Vine was owned by Twitter and shut down in 2016. One of
    its cofounders recently announced he will be launching another
    looping video app in Spring 2019.

Mark Zuckerberg played a personal role in stamping on Facebook’s
competitors, according to a trove of documents published by
British Parliament.

The papers, published by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Committee on Wednesday, contained emails between Facebook execs
about limiting Twitter’s now defunct looping video app Vine’s
access to data.

The internal Facebook documents were seized in November from
Six4Three, a company which is suing Facebook for allegedly
killing its business, an app which looked for pictures of
people’s Facebook friends in their swimwear.

Read more:

The secret Facebook documents have just been published by British

An email, dated 24 January 2013 (the day Vine launched on iOS),
contained statements attributed to Facebook Vice President Justin
Osofsky and Zuckerberg. 

Osofsky said:

“Twitter launched Vine today which lets you shoot multiple short
video segments to make one single, 6-second video. As part of
their NUX, you can find friends via FB. Unless anyone raises
objections, we will shut down their friends API access today.
We’ve prepared reactive PR, and I will let Jana know our

Zuckerberg responded: “Yup, go for it.”

Damian Collins, the UK lawmaker who published the documents,
implied that Facebook restricted Vine’s access to data because it
viewed Vine a competitor. He lists the email as evidence under
the section: “Targeting competitor Apps.”

“The files show evidence of Facebook taking aggressive positions
against apps, with the consequence that denying them access to
data led to the failure of that business,” Collins notes in his
summary of the key issues raised by the Facebook documents.

Vine was shut down in 2016, but one of its cofounders, Dom
Hoffman, recently revealed he will be
launching a new looping video app called Byte

When Facebook did remove Vine’s access to Facebook friends in
2013, its public explanation as to why was found
lacking by some

In a statement at the time, Osofsky pointed to a part of
Facebook’s policy, which allowed the firm to exclude apps that
don’t provide users with “an easy way to share back to Facebook.”
But as Wired pointed out at the time, Vine did allow users to
share their videos on Facebook.

A Facebook spokesman attempted to discredit the documents
published by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

He said: “As we’ve said many times, the documents Six4Three
gathered for their baseless case are only part of the story and
are presented in a way that is very misleading without additional

“We stand by the platform changes we made in 2015 to stop a
person from sharing their friends’ data with developers. Like any
business, we had many of internal conversations about the various
ways we could build a sustainable business model for our
platform. But the facts are clear: we’ve never sold people’s

Business Insider has contacted Vine cofounder Hoffman for

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