Facebook is among the most popular social media platforms for interacting with people across the world, as well as promoting your business. It had 2.79 billion active users at the end of 2020.
It’s one of the most powerful tools for sharing your message, getting your product and brand in front of your target users, and much more.
However, the huge marketing opportunities on the platform also come with some equally big problems.
Facebook has clamped down on political issues using their algorithm, and the infamous “Facebook jail” seems to have expanded further, affecting even more people than ever before.
In this article, we take a look at FB Jail, what it is, why it happened, and how you can avoid it.
What is Facebook Jail?
Facebook jail is an urban term coined by users to describe when someone is banned or blocked from accessing their account or posting on Facebook because of spammy behavior or failure to follow the platform’s guidelines.
Facebook has to be the authority with free speech due to backlash about previously not policing content enough – particularly the 2016 election. Mark Zuckerberg caught a lot of flack for not policing Facebook well enough, so they made some major changes.
That’s one of the reasons why the platform now takes a more serious stance toward infractions of the website’s guidelines.
How Do You Know if You’re in Facebook Jail?
Facebook doesn’t alert users to the fact that they have placed restrictions on their accounts.
Most people only discover that they are in Facebook jail when they receive an email or when they try to post on their account, or send private messages, only to receive the dreaded message:
You can’t post right now!
Even if you do receive notification from Facebook about your account being limited, by that time, it’s already too late to do anything about it.
This is how you know you’ve landed in Facebook jail:
- You lost your account’s ability to post on your timeline or on any pages or groups.
- You’re not able to like anyone else’s posts or pictures.
- You cannot comment anywhere on the social platform.
- You are blocked from accessing your page or account.
If you are banned from posting to your personal Facebook profile, it usually means that you can’t publish to any of your pages as the admin.
This can be a major problem, especially if you manage social media accounts for clients using social media management tools, and it can have a serious impact on your business and brand. You need all of this functionality to succeed.
Why Were You Thrown Into Facebook Jail?
There are many reasons why you might be thrown into Facebook jail and be given a (hopefully) temporary time out. Unfortunately, it’s possible to find yourself in there for breaking Facebook rules unintentionally.
Here are some of the most common reasons why people end up in Facebook jail:
1. Posting to Quickly: Posting too quickly on your Facebook page is among the most common reasons for people getting thrown in Facebook jail. You can also get flagged when you post the same information too fast. The simple solution to help you avoid getting blocked for this reason is to have a consistent schedule for posting, and always leave some time between posts.
2. Sending Too Many Friend Requests in One Day: When you send too many friend requests from a personal profile, Facebook views this as a bad thing, especially if you don’t know the people. When such behavior is detected, the platform will likely block your account. The same goes for joining Facebook groups too fast.
3. Posting Inappropriate Content: Posting sexually suggestive content, or nudity on Facebook is prohibited and violates their community standards. Even though it may make you unable to post pretty funny memes, doing so will result in your account being disabled, either temporarily or permanently. You should also avoid posting self-harm content, hate speech, or credible threats to groups or individuals.
4. Too Much Tagging: If you always reply with tagging all the time, this is another reason why you might find your account blocked.
5. Using Spam Images or Videos: If Facebook (or Google) has marked certain images or videos as spam, and you use them in your posts and are thought to be spamming others, this can land you in Facebook jail. Luckily, this is easily avoided by creating original content for your posts.
6. Logging in with Different Accounts: If you log into Facebook at the same time using different accounts, even a business page, this can trigger a block on your account. You should only use one account on one device and use a different device if you need to have two accounts open at the same time. The solution can be a VPN. VeePN features include hiding IP addresses, unblock any web site, unblocking games, and much more. When managing different accounts, this will be the best solution in order not to get in Facebook jail. To find the best VPN providers for your needs, check out the VPN reviews on PrivacyJournal.
7. Being Spammy: If you act “spammy” on Facebook by adding people you don’t know, using a business name for your personal account, and so on, you are likely to get banned. So don’t contact people through the messaging area with unwanted requests or content. Also, don’t add spammy links, don’t send bulk messages, and don’t excessively post images and links to people’s timelines, and don’t continually post identical content to different groups or places.
8. Using Automated Software: Something else Facebook frowns upon is the use of automated software on the platform. If you are liking or commenting on posts at a very fast-pace, Facebook will likely block your account. So make sure that you always control the speed with which you perform these activities.
9. Using Fake or Imposter Accounts: If someone reports that your account is fake or impersonating someone else’s account, Facebook won’t hesitate in blocking it permanently.
10. Fraud with Payments Through Facebook: Suspicious payments are among the recently emerging reasons for bans on Facebook. If you make a payment through a fraudulent card, the payment will be reversed, and your account will be instantly banned.
If you ever find your Facebook account blocked for misconduct, you can rest assured you violated at least one of the issues mentioned above.
How Long Does Facebook Jail Last?
There are two types of Facebook blocking: temporary, and permanent blocking.
This is where Facebook suspends activities in your account for a specific period of time, usually a few hours to a few days.
The maximum time Facebook and block your account is 30 days. When this time has elapsed, the ban is removed and you can regain access to your account.
This happens when the account is permanently deleted, and you can never re-access it again. It’s not necessarily like Instagram where you can get shadowbanned, it’s a permanent closing of your account where posting is no longer possible.
For marketers and business owners, this can result in a huge waste of time and effort invested in growing the account.
Facebook has different suspensions based on previous behaviors.
The blocks can be classified into three categories, according to the length and severity of the ban.
- The Lowest Tier: These bans typically don’t last long, maybe just a day ban, and Facebook sets the timeline in your notification when you attempt to post. You can appeal lower-tier bans to get them lifted even prior to the scheduled date.
- Middle Tier Bans: In more severe cases, Facebook suspends some of the features of your account permanently, such as commenting or liking content. However, your content is not totally blocked, and you can still access other features.
- The Highest Tier: Typically reserved for the worst offenses, this is the complete banning of your Facebook account. If this happens to you, consider your account gone forever because there is absolutely no way of retrieving it.
Most people are thrown into Facebook jail for failure to follow the rules and regulations during their marketing efforts.
It’s also interesting to note that older Facebook users are a lot less likely to be banned or blocked than newer ones.
In a lot of cases, Facebook jail leads to the permanent closure of the account, which is why it’s so important to understand Facebook jail and how to avoid it.
Even if your ban is temporary, sometimes just a few days of inactivity is all it takes to put a damper on your business’s social media presence. In fact, you may lose followers in the process, which can seriously impact your brand.
How to Get Out of Facebook Jail
When it comes to getting out of Facebook jail, you don’t have a lot of options available to you.
By following the simple do’s and don’ts outlined above, you can drastically reduce the chances that you will ever find yourself behind bars on this platform.
But, if you are already in such a situation, here are a few tips to help you limit the time you spend behind Facebook’s virtual bars.
Three Ways to Escape Facebook Jail
1. Serve your Sentence: The first and most obvious way is to simply wait until you’ve served your “jail sentence”. Facebook notifies you when you will be able to access the blocked features or account again.
2. File an Appeal: If you’d rather not wait, you can simply appeal for a review. Facebook will send you the outcome of your appeal via email. Just know that it’s possible that your appeal may be rejected and your account permanently blocked anyway.
3. Create a New Account: If all else fails and your account is blocked, the only other thing you can do is to forget about your current account and create a new one. Although this may not be ideal for marketers and business owners, sometimes it’s the only way to move forward.
However, you should note that Facebook is well-equipped with the necessary tools to detect such fraudulent activities. So I would recommend that you play it fair so you can maximize your chances of getting back control of your account.
All you have to do is follow Facebook terms and rules, if you regain access to your account (or if you decide to open a new one), stop doing whatever it is that got your account blocked in the first place.
How to Avoid Facebook Jail in the Future
The easiest way for you to avoid Facebook jail is to read and adhere to the community guidelines, as well as the platform’s Terms and Conditions.
If you’re caught operating your account outside of the platform’s guidelines, you will find yourself in the Facebook police’s crosshairs.
But, the guidelines make for a long and tedious read, which is I have created a summary of the things to do (or not do) to keep your account safe.
These include the following:
- Leave time intervals between posts
- Don’t post inappropriate content like pics or memes that may get you in trouble
- Send fewer than 50 friend requests per day
- Join no more than 10 Facebook groups per day
- Be careful when adding or tagging people
- Don’t use spam videos or images
- Log into one account on each device
- Don’t use scripts or automated software to post content
- Don’t post similar content in multiple groups at the same time
- Don’t use imposter or fake accounts, always use your real name and act like a real person
The bottom line is, you need to always ensure that you follow the platform’s guidelines to the letter.
This is particularly true with regard to political issues.
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t speak your mind, but it does require that you moderate your outspoken habits if you want to avoid having your account temporarily or permanently disabled.
There are additional steps you can take to help protect your account, such as:
1. Completing Your Facebook Profile: If your profile only has half the details, Facebook will flag it as incomplete. And, if you post to groups or communities with an incomplete profile, it may lead to your account being marked as spam. So, make sure that your “About” page and account details are all complete and up-to-date.
2. Verifying Your Account Via Mobile: Add your phone number to your account and verify it to show Facebook that you are a functioning human being as opposed to a fake account or bot. This will help you avoid being flagged as a spammer, which can result in your account being blocked.
3. Watch out for Saboteurs: In business, as with everywhere else in life, there will always be those who may try to bring you down in any way they can. For example, on Facebook, competitors might report your posts for no other reason than to harm your credibility online.
This means you have to take action to prevent such trolls from attacking your posts by either blocking them from your page so they won’t see your posts or reporting them to Facebook.
Facebook Jail Q&A
According to some sites, there are ways to get around the restrictions placed by Facebook on your account, such as registering your account as a minor (since the law prohibits Facebook from collecting data on minors).
Another alleged way is to post through Facebook’s own platform. However, the only real way to bypass Facebook jail is to create a new account, otherwise, you just have to abide by Facebook’s ruling on your current account, or appeal the restrictions.
The only way to get out of Facebook jail early is by filing an appeal. After conducting a review of your account, Facebook might decide to let you out of jail early. But, you should note that filing an appeal is no guarantee that this will happen, and the appeal may still result in your account being permanently blocked.
It’s hard to tell whether someone is in Facebook jail or not as their profile continues to look the same (if the infraction is minor). You will be able to post on the timeline, but the user will be restricted from replying or posting on their own account.
If, however, they committed a serious offense and their account is banned, then it ceases to exist on the platform. None of their friends will get a notification.
If your Facebook has been disabled, go to the Facebook website and enter your login details. Click “Login”, and you will see a message saying “Account Disabled”.
Click on “My Facebook account has been disabled” on the page, and you will be shown a link that says “Submit an appeal”. Click on the link and an appeal form will open. Fill in all the required details on the form, and then click “Send”.
Facebook will get back to you via email once they have completed a review of your account.
This article lists all the different things that can land you in Facebook jail. Use this information to help you avoid repercussions from the social media giant for continued guideline infractions. In other words, follow these rules to stay out of Facebook jail!
Have you ever been in Facebook jail? If so, tell me about it in the comments below!