A play on the name of life-or-death activity Russian roulette, Social Roulette put the user's Facebook account on the chopping block: Every time you played, there was a one-in-six chance your account would be deleted. Losing the game (or winning, depending on how you look at things) resulted in the deletion of all your Facebook information, including private messages, status updates and photos. Five out of six times, users kept their accounts and got a message posted to their Facebook, saying they had "survived" the game.
The app launched Saturday, but Facebook disabled it after just four hours. Only about 250 people had played by the time it was yanked, according Social Roulette founder Kyle McDonald.
In response to media inquries about Social Roulette being blocked, Facebook issued a short statement: “We take action against apps that violate our platform policies as laid out here: https://developers.facebook.com/policy/, in order to maintain a trustworthy experience for users.”
McDonald told The Huffington Post in an email that his team isn't giving up, and that they're already working on a relaunch.
"We've already registered a new app, and we're currently in the process of bringing the site into compliance with the Facebook guidelines before relaunching it. We're certain that we can respond to each of the issues Facebook has brought up, and should be back in business this week," McDonald said.
As the app's promotional materials hint, Social Roulette was intended to tap into the temptation some people feel to delete their accounts, a feeling that is often at odds with the user's ability to actually bite the bullet and do so.
While users who deactivate their Facebook accounts through the social network can sign back in without losing any of their information, McDonald said Social Roulette aimed to serve a different purpose. "The analogy to [R]ussian roulette, death away from keyboard, is no accident," he said. "[W]e're talking about something permanent and irreversible, where everything is gone for good."