Should Facebook SDK be permittet in apps on F-Droid?

Currently we permit the Facebook SDK to be included in apps on F-Droid. I’m wondering whether this is a good idea and how it. Though it claims to be open source, it uses the Facebook Platform License – which is NOT listed in the GNU license list at all (so I doubt it is really FOSS). Additionally, its project page says

You agree to comply with all applicable laws and regulations and also agree to our Terms, including our Platform Policies

And we all know what those terms/policies mean to privacy. In my opinion, permitting this sheds a doubtful light on us – even if we mark such apps with the Tracking and NonFreeNet AntiFeatures.

Am I overreacting here? What’s your opinion?


This incorporates the Facebook developer policy into the license by reference. In essence, Facebook can modify the license at any time without notification.

This definitely seems sketchy and I would think that this makes any software including software under the Facebook Software License nonfree.


Its an easy answer: the license is non-free because it puts restrictions on how you can use the software “for use in connection with the web services and APIs provided by Facebook.”

“open source” is not good enough, F-Droid is about Free Software :smile:


Thanks, Hans! Guess that nails it then.

PS: If someone raises the question “what else should it be used with” – it means you neither can use any part of the code for something else; which definitely makes it NonFree.

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Now the bigger question: are there apps that are using this nonfree software in F-Droid right now that need to be removed?

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Good question. If it’s official we declare FB SDK off-limits, is there something detecting it (like the bot does on RFP) where it could be added (if not already there), so we could scan for it? And if any hits, what to do with them? @hans?

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At the very least, the libraries’ gradle names should be added to the
lint list of forbidden libraries.


Good idea. Could you do that, @hans? I’m not familiar enough with the lint setup.

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If you open an issue in server, I’ll do that.


Thanks @Bubu, done (took the freedom to assign you as well).


This is why I love you guys. (Sorry. I just lurk. But I definitely benefit from the work and dedication of you smart guys.)


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