Add-on listing and Mozilla policy

After waiting about 3 months trying repeatedly to contact someone for solving this issue: Add-on "Status: Disabled by Mozilla " I finally talked with an admin reviewer who told me he could re-enable my add-on, but also that I had to self-host it, because it is braking this new rule:

Add-ons that serve the sole purpose of promoting, installing, loading or launching another website, application or add-on are no longer permitted to be listed on addons.mozilla.org.

My add-on performs a search for the text a user has selected on a website I have developed which is a social media search engine.
Probably, indeed my add-on brakes that certain rule, but there are many others in the Search Tools category that do exactly the same thing and nevertheless they are listed on AMO.

I’m just curious how does the review process work? Do most add-ons avoid manual reviews and I was just unlucky, because I faced a bug that made me contact a reviewer for the publication?

Your extension sends a query to your website, or your extension adds functionality for users already on your website?

I think if an add-on streamlines the process of submitting a search that the user otherwise would need to populate manually, that provides value. I think that goes beyond “loading or launching,” which sound like what a bookmark is for. However, I wasn’t involved in formulating this policy, so I’m not sure what was intended to be covered.

My extension sends the highlighted text (that should be a name or a username) as a query string to my website that performs a search on multiple social media networking websites about it.
Users can perform a search by clicking on a tooltip button or a context menu button. They can choose which of these two buttons will have enabled.

I can share a link if you wish.

Just 2 more questions:

  1. Is it possible to appeal the decision?
  2. As for now I have published my add-on as self-hosted. Can this state change?

I’m not involved with the policy and hope someone who is can join the discussion.

I wouldn’t want to see a Recommended extension like TinEye Reverse Image Search removed due to this policy.

Regarding #2, I think if you upload your next version update through the Add-ons site (not through the web-ext program), you can change your distribution method during that process.

No problem! Thanks for your answers and your time anyway!

That kind of functionality is common ground for many search add-ons. I would say that if this is considered a policy violation, then a considerable number of add-ons should get removed.

I’m afraid that’s not the case. I uploaded a newer version yesterday, just to check if this option is available and it isn’t. Maybe an admin reviewer should again intervene.

For the initial issue of the deactivation I had:
sent an email to: amo-admins@mozilla.com
a DM to https://twitter.com/mozamo and
a message to https://chat.mozilla.org/#/room/#addon-reviewers:mozilla.org
I never received an answer, till sending a DM to one of the admin reviewers, so I’m afraid this is going again to be a long process, if ever get an answer at all!

I have contacted both the initial reviewer plus another one about the issue, asking why particularly my add-on is considered to brake the rules, but not others like TinEye as you @jscher2000 mentioned. In fact TinEye add-on not only is listed on AMO, but is listed as Recommended, while obviously it does the same thing as my add-on does. It adds a context menu entry for performing a search on a specific website.

So far, I haven’t received a response to my question, but I will post it here if I receive one…