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For about 4 hours now Facebook's servers have been hitting my site every 5 mins at the start, but now at least once per minute.

Getting this in logs - - [25/Apr/2012:20:08:49 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 7304 "-" "facebookexternalhit/1.1 (+http://www.facebook.com/externalhit_uatext.php)"

Anybody have any idea why they would be doing this?

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you should really contact Facebook if you have a question about how their systems work / why they're hitting your site. The best we can offer is an informed variant of wild speculation... –  voretaq7 Apr 25 '12 at 19:55
What kind of "hit"? What resource are they requesting? –  Shane Madden Apr 25 '12 at 19:59
Contacting Facebook is not easy - I want to see if anybody else is having the same problem and if so can explain what's happening. Don't be so dismissive. –  je223 Apr 25 '12 at 20:00
They are just hitting the root page of the sire and then leaving, and returning almost exactly a minute later –  je223 Apr 25 '12 at 20:00
@JamesEggers Start with reverse DNS lookup of the IP that the requests are coming from. There's a service here for it: remote.12dt.com –  Paulpro Apr 25 '12 at 20:06

3 Answers 3

Perhaps something on your site is being shared around on Facebook.

Facebook makes requests to get little image and text previews before users post a link to their wall.

Alternatively, if Facebook tries to crawl your site and fails for any reason they might retry. Go to this page: http://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/og/echo?q=http%3A%2F%2Fyoursite.com

Changing yoursite.com to your actual domain. Check that your HTML loads correctly for Facebook.

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That's what I thought too, but I'm not seeing the hits that should accompany those voluminous shares on Facebook, so it must be something else. It was posted to Facebook, and possibly shared once or twice, but I'm pretty sure nothing on this scale. –  je223 Apr 25 '12 at 19:55
HTML loads perfectly. Any other ideas? –  je223 Apr 25 '12 at 20:39
@JamesEggers No, I can't think of any other reason. Sorry. Let me know if it happens again tomorrow or something like that. –  Paulpro Apr 25 '12 at 20:40
will do, thanks :) –  je223 Apr 25 '12 at 20:46

This is the robot that extract objects from site when somebody post a link. For more information

read http://www.facebook.com/externalhit_uatext.php. 

Social signals are making more and more of an impact in search results.visits from this bot, as it means that users are being directed to your page from a face book link. Social signals are great, and I highly advise checking your Facebook Analytics quite often if you are seeing constant visits from this bot.

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I know - but it seems a little unrealistic that I haven't gotten a single hit out of the ordinary and yet Facebook hit my site 516 times in quick succession - I'm more inclined to think it was a bug of some sort. –  je223 Apr 25 '12 at 20:35

This is a knows Facebook bug. Subscribe, comment and make them fix this. This is unacceptable https://developers.facebook.com/bugs/462774593786374

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protected by Community May 19 '13 at 23:03

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