With 2.9 billion users worldwide, Facebook is the highest-ranking social media platform when it comes to active users. It is also one of the most popular networks businesses can use to promote themselves.
That said, if you don’t follow Facebook rules, you could find yourself in what’s been coined as “Facebook Jail’. This will be really bad for business.
Being blocked, or worse, banned from the platform because you didn’t follow the site’s rules and regulations means a lot of time and effort goes to waste. Not to mention your reputation.
Here we take a look at the top tips for avoiding and getting out of Facebook Jail. For a deeper dive, feel free to take a look at Facebook’s own Community Standards outline for what is and what isn’t allowed.
What Is Facebook Jail?
Before you start panicking about orange jumpsuits and iron bars, rest assured that what’s become known as ‘Facebook Jail’ doesn’t happen that often. And when it does, you may get a time out that can range between 24 hours to up to a month.
The term Facebook Jail simply refers to when the platform decides that an individual or account continuously goes against the community guidelines and terms and conditions. As a result, Facebook will restrict, block, ban or, worst-case scenario, delete the account.
Facebook (Meta) will first give you a warning. But if you don’t stop your bad behavior, they have a set of strikes to bring you back in line:
- One strike: Warning and no further restrictions.
- Two strikes: One-day restriction from creating content, such as posting, commenting, using Facebook Live, or creating a Page.
- Three strikes: 3-day restriction from creating content.
- Four strikes: 7-day restriction from creating content.
- Five or more strikes: 30-day restriction from creating content.
If you do get sent to jail, don’t worry too much. There are ways to get yourself out again: either serve your time or send them an appeal.
How To Avoid Facebook Jail
Avoiding Facebook Jail depends on understanding what actions can get you in the slammer in the first place.
These include ongoing prohibited behavior, unsolicited contact and harassing behavior, unleashing a deluge of advertising or promotions as a Facebook profile (i.e., not as a Page), and using a fake name to create a fake profile.
Impersonating someone or a business will also get the Facebook police on to you in a flash. It’s similar to getting shadowbanned on Instagram.
But there are other actions that are less obvious to some, and can similarly get you in Jail. Let’s take a look.
Don’t Post Too Much
Facebook doesn’t like accounts that update their status – either through posting something or sharing other posts – every five minutes. And, quite frankly, who does?
This is especially important for business profiles as posting too much too often could trigger Facebook’s AI to see you as a spam account.
Users may also get annoyed, decide they’ve had enough, and mark your posts as spam.
Posting in quick succession is among the most common reasons for people getting thrown into Facebook Jail.
Be Careful With Tagging
Tagging random people in a post can land you in trouble and will alert the Facebook police.
The platform is dedicated to authentic accounts, and if you tag accounts that have nothing to do with you, they will let you know.
Also never tag people directly in images if they’re not actually in them.
Use Original Or Copyright-Free Images
Facebook places a premium on original content, and this goes for images as well. Often, admins will use images obtained through Google’s search results, but the problem is these have often already been marked as spam on Facebook.
There are a few sites where you can find copy-right free images, such as Unsplash, or better yet, take and use your own pictures.
Don’t Do Business As A Profile
Some businesses on Facebook operate as a Profile instead of as a Page. This is a big no-no for Facebook, which prefers to keep the two types of accounts transparent.
They will quickly pick up if you use a business name instead of a personal name on a Facebook account, and send you a warning to cease and desist.
Business Pages have loads of benefits too, so it’s unclear why users would not take the time to create one.
How To Get Out Of Facebook Jail
Being sent to Facebook Jail can be quite annoying, if not upsetting. When in Facebook Jail, you can still read Facebook posts but you can’t like posts or comment on them. And if you try to post, you’ll receive a warning notice from Facebook.
So, if you’ve found yourself behind the Facebook bars, here are your options:
Serve Your Time
Depending on your infraction, and considering Facebook’s own rules for restricting accounts (see above), you may just have to sit it out. Lesson learned.
Send An Appeal
Considering that Facebook AI is the actual Facebook police, it could be that they made a mistake. It happens often. When you receive the notice that you broke the rules and your account is disabled, you can appeal right on the platform.
If you disagree with Facebook’s reasons for taking your content down or restricting your account, you can appeal to the Oversight Board by requesting a review of the process.
Some may say Facebook rules are taking it too far in terms of limiting our content and actions on the network; others say not far enough.
At the end of the day, none of us like spammy or abusive accounts, or those that don’t respect others’ copyright to content and images. So this is just Facebook’s way of keeping the platform clean, friendly, and a nice place for all to play and promote themselves and their businesses in.
Follow Facebook’s best practices and you may never have to face the dreaded violations notice.