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How to Avoid “Facebook Jail” or “Facebook Time Out” for Your Company

How to Avoid "Facbeook Jail" or "Facebook Time Out" for Your CompanyThis morning I was alerted by one of my Facebook fans, that the network marketing company she represents has been put in “Facebook Jail.”  The consultants from their company are suddenly not allowed by Facebook to post any links to their personal websites or blogs, or to their company replicated websites. Not on their personal timeline, not in Facebook groups and not even on their business Pages they’ve created.

Last week, I heard from a consultant from a different company that one of her company sisters had their entire Facebook account deleted a few months ago, and she had to start completely over from zero. She lost her personal timeline, all her posts, all her connections. She was devastated and spent the next couple months desperately begging people to join her again.

I know of several people who have been blocked from adding friends on Facebook, and others who are no longer allowed to send private messages.

This is SCARY when you consider the amount of time and resources you or your company may be putting into social media marketing. What’s more is that Facebook makes it difficult to appeal their decisions or to talk to a live person and explain yourself or even understand why you are suddenly blocked.

Following are 16 ways you and your company can avoid being put in this unfortunate situation. (Updated March 2016!)

  1. Understand Facebook’s Terms of Service both for personal Timelines, and for business Pages. Most sanctions on Facebook can be avoided by following their rules. Unfortunately most people do not read them.
  2. Never ever ever use a business name for a personal profile/timeline name. You cannot create a personal Facebook account using “Susie’s Sweet Shop” as the name of the account, just so you can post within groups and elsewhere as the name of your business. Profiles/Timelines are for real people and need to use your real name. Use your personal name and then within the About section, alert people to your business. Create a business Page for business.
  3. Each human being on the planet can only have ONE Facebook account. From  your personal account you can create multiple business Pages but you can only have one personal account. Use your Account Settings to add multiple email addresses to your account if you want to make sure business contacts can find you easily.
  4. Do not post overly promotional items on a personal account. One of Facebook’s rules is that your personal Timeline cannot be used for commercial purposes. There has been some debate about the definition of “commercial” but in general when you are sending a marketing message including a link or call to action, it should be from a business Page, not a personal Timeline. Sure you can talk about what you are doing in your business, you can share ageages and information, but including a link to where they can buy or sign up crosses the line into promoting, and Facebook wants all of that to occur on business Pages. Following my 9-1-1 Code, whether on a personal Timeline or business Page is highly recommended. This code states that your proportion of posts should be 9 non-marketing (inform, inspire, educate) to every 1 promotional post (buy-book-join) along with 1 personal or casual post.
  5. Avoid posting your web link to multiple places on Facebook in a short time. When sharing your business website link within Facebook groups or other Pages, even when it is encouraged by the group or Page admin (such as on Facebook Friday) avoid doing so in multiple groups in short succession.  It is never a good idea to blast your link all over the place on the web anyway – it appears desperate and spammy! But it is common on “Facebook Friday” for groups or pages to ask you to share you link – it helps everyone get to know each other and support the other pages. Spread them out time-wise so you aren’t doing them all at once.
  6. Do not friend-request people you do not know or aren’t otherwise connected to. As I state in almost all of my training, social media is about connecting with people, not collecting people. When you have a relationship with someone, either in real life, or in a Facebook group, and you want to get to know someone better, sure, reach out to them, as long as they are someone who would recognize you. The reason for this is that after they ignore your friend request if they do not want to add you back, Facebook asks if they know you. If they say NO that they do not know you, your account is flagged. I do not know the magic number but if your account is flagged too many times, you are blocked from sending friend requests, since it appears you are adding people to spam them.
  7. Do not promote your business on other business’ pages or walls without being asked. Whether it is a “wall post” or a comment, it is not OK to visit another business and tell their network all about yours. Do not go and like someones page and then post on their page “New liker from XYZ company, like me back!” either. Do not troll for “openings” on pages and comment with “You can buy a great XYZ here: ” and include your link. Would you go into a store and pass out fliers about your store across the street? The page admin will likely delete your comment and mark it as spam, flagging your account.
  8. Do not use Facebook Messages to send promotional content to multiple people at once without their consent. Facebook does allow you to send a message to up to 20 people at a time but this function is designed for people who all want to discuss something – not for someone to broadcast an advertising message. When you send a group message, every reply or activity on that message is sent as a notification to all 20 people, and this gets annoying fast. Members in the message will click the settings to leave the conversation and mark it as spam. It is against Facebook’s rules to send commercial messages to people without their consent.
  9. Do not repeatedly send the same message to different people or post the same item in different places. This is tracked by Facebook and seen as spam or harassment. If you have a useful, non-commercial message to send (say, connecting with someone for your class reunion) simply vary the wording and personalize the messages or posts. If you want to share your blog post to several different groups, simply add a caption that is relevant to the place you are posting it on Facebook, so it is seen as a unique post.  I would also spread them out over time to be safe.
  10. Watch for competitor saboteurs. Unfortunately, since it is so easy for people to mark a post, Page, or message as spam, unethical competitors may simply be trolling you or your consultant’s pages and posts and marking them as spam, whether they are or aren’t. If you are aware that someone might be doing this, the first step would be to ban them from your profile or page. This way they will not be able to see your posts or interact with your pages. You can also visit their personal Timeline and click the little gear and then Report/Block them individually. Then I would use one of the contact links below to appeal to Facebook and explain what you think has happened.
  11. Do not friend-request people who are not likely to accept you or are not expecting it. Facebook logs both your unanswered friend requests and your rejected ones. If you have too many people who did not accept your friend request (no one knows the magic number) you might be considered a spammer, since they will often friend-request many people they do not know. Also when people delete the request on their end, Facebook makes it easy for them to mark you as spam. Remember Facebook is a social network, designed to be used to stay connected to people you know. This is especially important if you have no mutual friends. Cancel ignored Facebook friend requests here.
  12. Do not private message someone who is not your Facebook friend. This is an automatic red flag and although Facebook has a small tolerance for it once in a while, if you do this too often you will surely end up in Facebook jail. The assumption is that if they wanted to receive messages from you, you would be friends. This is similar to the opt-in rules of the CAN-SPAM act whereby someone needs to acquire written permission to be able to email marketing messages to another. Facebook does not want to get in trouble for spamming any more than you do.
  13. Some applications that violate Facebook’s terms can flag your account or get your business Page taken down. This one is scary since for a long time many people used apps to create landing pages for their business Page and the companies that created the apps and tools to do this were not in compliant with Facebook’s terms. I recently heard that apps/tabs that take users off of Facebook can get flagged. This means my beloved woobox html fan gate tabs are at risk when using as a redirect. Use with caution or switch to embedding the web page within the tab within Facebook.
  14. Only tag people in posts they appear in AND which they would approve. Never tag someone that is not actually in the picture, and never when you aren’t 100% sure they would appreciate it. Everyone gets a notification when they are tagged and if the person removes the tag and then reports the tag, you are at risk. If you want to alert someone to a post, tag them within the comments.
  15. Only use images you are 100% certain you have permission to use. You cannot grab an image off the Internet and use it unless it has an open creative commons license or you have purchased a license, or you have permission from the originator. This includes whether or not have you altered the image, or included it in a collage or “polyvore” style post (those aren’t for commercial re-use) or even if you got it from someone else and assumed THEY had permission. It’s your responsibility to be sure. The person who created the image can very easily do a “reverse image search” to find all the places the image appears, and mark your post as an intellectual property violation which Facebook takes very seriously. They may even take further legal action. It’s not worth it. See this post for further information to avoid litigation when posting images.
  16. Do not copy and paste someone else’s post or image to repost.  Facebook sees this as duplicate content which is similar to how Google does not want exact copies of the same blog post or article – it does not serve its readers to have multiple copies, unable to credit the original. Best to simply click share and then add your own content. If you see something you want to say that is similar to someone else’s post, create your own verbiage so it is different.

What are some other reasons you might get a Facebook warning or be blocked? Here are some links to discover other things to avoid:

Facebook Warnings List

Facebook Blocks

What can you do if you are put in Facebook jail? Sometimes with the error message when posting, Facebook will provide a link to you to be able to explain the situation or appeal. If not, here are some ways you can contact them:

Report a problem with a Facebook personal Timeline

Report a problem with a Facebook business Page.

Report a Facebook terms violation/harassment

General how to report things on Facebook

Report if your business page has disappeared 

Do you have any direct experience with being put in Facebook time out or jail? How was it resolved? How long did it last? What did you find most effective in dealing with this? Share your story in the comments.

For more Do’s and Don’ts in social media, listen to my FREE 30-minute training just for direct sellers, Social Media Tough Love.

PS: Just because you see someone else doing something does not mean it is OK. And do not believe it when someone tells you they have a special agreement with Facebook to break the rules. 🙂

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  1. Tracey Warren on December 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    This is a great list!! I am going to share for sure!

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on December 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks Tracey! I appreciate it!

  2. gale bates on December 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Brilliant Post, Karen! Definitely sharing.

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on December 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Thank you Gale. I hate that we have to deal with this. When just a few break the rules it affects entire teams, companies, and the whole industry. Anything we can do to right it or prevent it is great!

  3. Christine Marriner on December 10, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks so much Karen, we have shared with the entire Sweet family. Thanks for everything you post!

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on December 10, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      You are so welcome! Thank you for sharing. It’s tough to navigate all these things and unfortunately Facebook doesn’t make it real obvious, or give you warnings!

      • Sara on January 6, 2017 at 5:24 pm

        I cannot comment on any groups I’m in on Facebook. Every time I try it says failed and logs me out of my Facebook! If I were in Facebook jail wouldn’t they have notified me?

        • Karen Clark
          Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
          on January 14, 2017 at 2:15 pm

          Hmm that’s strange and no sometimes they do not give you a warning/notification. Has it resolved since you wrote this? Sometimes a moderator will turn comments off but that would be rare, not every group.

  4. How to Stay Out of Facebook Jail on December 11, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    […] How to Avoid “Facebook Jail” or “Facebook Time Out” for Your Company […]

  5. Tammitha on December 12, 2013 at 7:07 am

    This was a great read. The information was outstanding!!! Thank hou for it.

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on December 12, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Great – thanks for taking the time to comment!

  6. Cindi on December 19, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Thank you so much! My company has apparently been reprimanded for posting on their personal pages…this was so helpful for me to understand. We need to take this seriously, particularly as we promote our products via social media.

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on December 19, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Great – I am glad it is so helpful! If you would like to refer your company to me for some “expert training” I would be happy to help straighten things out. Or pass this post along, that will help! Good luck!

  7. Kristine on December 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I get sent for messaging people who are not friends and they initiated the conversation.

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on December 21, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Oh wow now that’s not right! That sounds like a setup!

  8. Big Shirl on January 27, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I’m still in the process of learning Facebook for my small Bible devotional and only have 11 ‘likes’. But it’s my intent to go through all of Karen’s Facebook modules to grow my ‘likes’ and grow my business. Karen’s posts are easy to read, understand and not the least bit confusing. She is a teacher who ensures that her students understand the subject. Thanks!

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on January 27, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you Shirley!! It is great to have such a willing student!!

  9. valen on January 29, 2014 at 10:05 am

    I put too many ads up and got in facebook jail! 🙁 Do you know how to figure out how long you are in facebook jail?

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on January 31, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      I do not know how to find out how long but I have heard most people say it is 2 weeks.

      • PF on July 20, 2017 at 3:43 am

        If you look in your support inbox it should tell you there !! Should be under account settings / scroll to bottom and click support inbox

    • Belinda Gresham on May 14, 2014 at 9:45 am

      I just started in direct sales, and was put in jail last night for posting to too many groups, so ive been blocked from posting to groups for 2 weeks! its just crazy, because everyone post’s like wild fire on those groups, im thinking since i just started they are not used to seeing me do it?? I dont know, but i do know, people post a lot more than i do. they give you a box to click, if you want to appeal or explain yourself, just like this article states, only for them to reply, that once a block is placed, it can not be lifted, so why even give you the opportunity to explain!! I think FB is just mad because you are not buying their expensive ads, etc. Anyway, this is my experience with FB jail, believe me, im going to follow all of the advice in this article and more!

      • Karen Clark
        Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
        on May 14, 2014 at 9:59 am

        It is a bummer especially when you see others getting away with it. You never really know what triggers it so I’d advise following the rules and warnings to be safe! Could be someone marked you as spam or something. Hope you get out of jail soon!

    • kathy on June 2, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Ive been in fb jail from 2 days to 2 weeks

    • PF on July 20, 2017 at 3:38 am

      You would need to account settings and right at the bottom there is the support inbox . It will or should tell you in there

    • PF on July 20, 2017 at 3:42 am

      Account settings scroll to bottom look for the support inbox . It should tell you in there

  10. Jan on January 30, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Are there any way to share this page with all the information?
    Would like to put this on my page.


    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on January 31, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      Hi Jan – Feel free to copy/paste this or share the link or excerpts, as long as you state that I am the author and provide a link to the original article or my main home page.

      Karen Clark


  11. How To Avoid Facebook Jail – John S. Suarez on February 14, 2014 at 10:15 am

    […] To minimize or altogether eradicate chances of one being sent to Facebook jail, Karen Clark, a social media coach for business owners and the person behind My Business Presence, provides us with the following tips: […]

  12. Charles Joseph Smith on February 24, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Right now, most likely the magic number is 4 or more unwanted friend requests before FB sanctions you for spamming. The usual FB sanction is a warning, and if the violations continue, you get a friend request block for 7, 14, 21 days, etc.

    More importantly: FB uses a proprietary algorithm that detects unusual activity, which will likely include spamming. This mechanism shuts down accounts whereas the reinstatement process is manual. FB does state that it is “the speed of the actions and the sheer number of your actions are taken into account.”

    So, here are some of the sample activity examples can put you in FB jail:
    1. Copying and pasting 40 posts in one hour to wall after wall after wall.
    2. Using an URL that is spammy to any FB wall you do not know or any FB account holder you do not know. (If you are caught, this URL will be banned–and most likely your FB account will be banned also.)
    3. Sending 100 messages in 30 minutes, even if your messages are to your FB friends.
    4. Sending 2,000 messages in 3 hours if you only have 50 friends.

    See what I mean? Basically, you do almost any activity on FB that is something like “mass-shotgunning”, like you do to your resumes by doing snail mail, and you will be flagged as a spammer and you will end up in FB jail. Just simply don’t do shear number of activities on FB unless you have a least a fan page or you have reached your friend limit of 5,000 in your personal FB page….A silver lining is that this algorithm is not in place for chat messages.

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on February 24, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Thank you Charles. In general none of the practices you outlined would be considered authentic engagements or relationship building. Facebook wants you to manually connect with people and if you are doing it too quickly it is obvious you are copy/pasting vs writing a unique message.

  13. Daraline on May 9, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Excellent information regarding Facebook. I am sharing with everyone. Thanks so much for your valuable information.

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on May 14, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Thanks for sharing!!

  14. Carol on May 22, 2014 at 8:35 am

    I was put into FB jail yesterday, my sentence is 30 days. I am guessing that it is because someone who isn’t even a friend has a vendetta because she is a competitor and she has marked my posts as spam or inappropriate. I was never given a warning from FB, I was just suddenly having to do security checks and relog in even when already logged in. After the 6th security check, I was told I was banned for 30 days. I can post a status on my personal page, however, I cannot comment on my status or on anyone else’s. I cannot like my friends status, nor can I send messages. FB has completely ignored my requests to contact me to get this squared away. It’s very sad.

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on June 2, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Oh my gosh that is awful!!! Facebook should definitely have a way to dispute things, or at the very least have a human being investigating the reports others are submitting to see if they are bogus. I am sorry that happened.

  15. Holly on June 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this info! I have bookmarked it to keep for reference.

  16. Susan Mohn on August 7, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    This is a fantastic resource! Thanks so much for posting this!

  17. Beth on August 17, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Thanks so much for this great information!!! I am going to share with my team to keep us all out of trouble!

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  22. franc on January 16, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Good Morning, thank you for the facebook warning list., I’m an Active FB User here at Philippines, posting Daily UPDATES for FOREX and NEWS for All my Friends especially OFW’s around the world. Last December 2014, FACEBOOK just Banned me for Posting and they REMOVE my “LIKE & COMMENT” on my timeline wall., until now I can’t COMMENT, LIKE & POST on my Groups.. What Can I do & it’s a MONTH NOW (Jan. 17, 2015)? Can you HELP me? thank you and GOD Bless.

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on January 27, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      It must be that someone (or multiple people) reported you for spam. Perhaps some of your friends were not as interested in your content and found it to be too much? There is not much you can do other than to wait it out but you could try this link:

  23. ethel walker on February 1, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Why am I in facebook jail///seems like I been going there more often….

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on January 27, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Have you been doing any of the things I discussed in the article?

  24. […] em algo confuso. Por isso, te mostramos os pontos mais importantes desta seção, a partir da investigação da expert em marketing digital Karen […]

  25. Vahagn Aris on July 3, 2015 at 4:53 am

    #6 Do not friend-request people you do not know or aren’t otherwise connected to.
    This was the reason I ended up in Facebook jail. And it is without sending a bunch of friend requests. I was sending 5-10 requests a day, but that was enough for FB to suspend my account. In my blog post I am showing how easy it is to end up in FB jail, if the person you send request decides to take a tiny action. If interested, here is the link…
    Thanks for you tips to avoid FB jail Karen!

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on October 10, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Excellent! I am sorry you experienced FB jail but this is great to share your experience. It is too bad Facebook doesn’t specify the amount of people you can friend but it is a good guideline to not request people you do not know.

  26. Anne-Marie on July 15, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Facebook support is your best bet, but as I’ve also suffered from FB abuse, I agree with you that their help is not helping at all and more often than not the list of links are not relevant to our cases. And it take them a long time until they actually give human support. You might have better luck if someone could provide a direct mail address to its officers.

    For now, be patient.

  27. INTERNET MARKETER on July 27, 2015 at 12:12 am

    […] algo confuso. Por eso te muestro los puntos más importantes de esa sección, a partir de la investigación de la experta en marketing digital Karen […]

  28. sandra sledge on September 30, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Thank you. Great information

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  30. 10 dicas para evitar bloqueios | ExtraWork on November 26, 2015 at 4:34 am

    […] em algo confuso. Por isso, te mostramos os pontos mais importantes desta seção, a partir da investigação da expert em marketing digital Karen […]

  31. Rick on January 27, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Thank you for this article- curious if you have an approximation of what the breaking point might be for posting in several groups in what period of time? Should I post to 5 an hour, 5 a day? Thanks again

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on January 27, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      No, no one really knows but we suspect it has more to do with how far apart you pace your posts, I’d say at least 5 minutes but more like 10 or more would be best. And definitely not copy/pasting the same post each time.

  32. Elsbeth Walkley on February 12, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Just getting started with helping others brand themselves using FaceBook Fan/Business pages. Good information to have. Thank you.

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on February 22, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      Great! Thanks for the comment!

  33. Sara on February 20, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    I volunteer for a non profit animal shelter and our biggest marketing tool is facebook. I share the dogs in groups that approve animal post and I will get put in jail after 35 post or 50 post or 100 post. It doesn’t matter how long I wait or how much I post. Can you help?

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on February 22, 2016 at 10:41 pm

      Hi Sara! That is too bad. 🙁 Are you sharing the same post to multiple groups? I would vary the caption or the picture so it isn’t the same and never copy/paste but manually type it in. FB sees repetitive posts as spam, it is just the way the algorithm works even if it is for a noble cause unfortunately.

  34. Cheryl on March 7, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Great advice! I’ve been trying to make DS folks understand this for a couple years now…! You have to play by the rules or your hard work can be jeopardized! Thanks for putting this into a concise, helpful post! I’ll be sharing this one – and looking into your book! 🙂

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on March 7, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      THANK YOU! Sometimes I feel like I am talking to the wind so it’s nice to hear someone who gets it. 🙂 The book has this and even more things to avoid so be sure to check it out! Have a great week!

  35. […] em algo confuso. Por isso, te mostramos os pontos mais importantes desta seção, a partir da investigação da expert em marketing digital Karen Clark. Concretamente, há três regras essenciais que você […]

  36. Elizabeth May on April 28, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Not sure if mine applies – recently FB account blocked by them – no warning – no reason; which I understand is standard. Apparently they need to verify identity – ok, can do that. Not crazy about sending them a copy of DL…but what the heck – all my personal info is in cyberspace anyway…However, when you attempt to follow their instructions you are stuck in loop; or ‘time exceeded’ messages. Very frustrating – no personal contact available. It has been 3 very long days…this also affects anything connected with FB: Zynga games, Twitter, etc. Any ideas? Thanks for letting me vent…Liz

  37. Amy Walker on June 23, 2016 at 7:56 am

    First of all, GREAT article. It really is kinda rare to find such a thorough, well thought out/researched article about Facebook anywhere that they aren’t just regurgitating the same stuff everybody else has said. Plus, as well all know, it’s super-hard to write any kind of “advice” column about Facebook & how best to use it because they change things up ALL THE TIME & make those articles obsolete! 🙂 But I think this one most definitely could stand the tests of time and is most certainly useful for people a little less experienced with it. I will definitely share this article with many of my friends! Congrats on the great writing!
    Okay now as to the biz of FB jail…hahaha I unfortunately have a LOT of experience with this!! 😀 Of course, in my case, I knew exactly what I was doing, & that FB didn’t like it, & that I’d PROBABLY be put in jail for it. In my case, as I was building up my profile(s), I did the big no-no of “farming” from my friend’s Friend Lists. (<I know, I should be ashamed…!) For right or wrong, I began to climb a sort of invisible social ladder this way. I will say this though: I didn't just add random friends & leave them there! I *did* actually start talking to these people & trying to get to know them! But anyway, along the way, I would get caught sending ONE TOO MANY requests to people who click "ignore" & promptly let FB know that I was a stranger. I couldn't tell you the magic number on this either….but I would say it likely could have been 5+? within a short period (week(s)? month?). Anyway, I'd open my browser & click on Facebook & I got to where I always knew when I'd been busted, because they would make me login with my name/password. So I would login, & then get "The Screen" that told me first my punishment in bold and then they'd tell me why. Then they made me check a box promising I'd never do it again. Which I always did. So the next time they busted me, I would be in jail for more days. Then more still. I finally lost count how many times I got put into jail and it almost became something of a meme amongst my friends. Here was the basic message: "Friend Requests Blocked For 7 Days: We received feedback that you sent multiple friend requests to people you don't know, so you won't be able to send friend requests for 7 days. To keep this from happening again, please only send friend requests to people you know. I understand that sending friend requests to people I don’t know isn’t allowed on Facebook.” Eventually this progressed to more terse warnings that included accusing me of harassment. I did eventually learn my lesson and quit doing this (so much). I’m sure I’ve sent requests to people I don’t know since then, though we’ve had a lot of mutual friends so I guess it doesn’t look as bad; but it is fewer and further between which I think puts me in better standing with FB. I have also been jailed for just about everything else you can be jailed for (group posts, comment posts, likes, adding pages, etc.)! I agree with what Charles wrote above: “the speed of the actions and the sheer number of your actions are taken into account.” That seems to be the main thing that sets off the warning bells.
    I don’t *encourage* people to be wreckless like I was years ago when I was just starting FB! 🙂 But anyway, I think your list very thoroughly defines just what it is FB does/doesn’t expect out of its users. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on December 27, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      Oops looks like I approved your comment a while back but forgot to reply! Thank you for sharing. I am hoping you are having more success by now and avoiding friending strangers. 🙂 It’s always best to only request those who would LOVE to connect with you, maybe after a nice exchange in comments on someone’s (or your) post etc. Or do what I do and don’t friend-request anyone – let them reach out to you first! I have always felt like the right people will come into my circle at the right time and for the most part it is true. 🙂

  38. Tammy on August 30, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    question…..if I want to have a private sale on my business page, can I post as many pics as I want or would that get me in trouble??

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on August 30, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      There is no way to have a completely private sale on a business page but if you do use a business page yes you can post as many pics as you like. If you are talking about doing a “Facebook Party” I recommend using an event that originates from a business page (not a group) to stay in compliance with FB, then personally invite, then share the link to your yes/maybes who then join and get notifications. I have complete instructions on this in my book Good luck!

  39. […] How to Avoid “Facebook Jail” or “Facebook Time Out” for Your Company […]

  40. Laura on October 16, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    If Facebook considers it spam to post the same content to multiple groups at one time, then why to they not only allow, but promote the feature to post up to 20 groups at a time. As a matter of fact, they tell you something along these lines: “To sell your item faster, post to more places. So what happens when you use their autopost feature? You get blocked. Makes so much sense, doesnt it? Why allow this feature if they perceive it as spam? I got blocked after posting in 20 for sale groups. Smh…

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on December 27, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Hi Laura – The For Sale groups are specifically for people selling discarded items to other people, not for businesses. If FB decides that your item was for a business it can block you from posting. I am not sure if that is the case for you but that has been known to happen. For Sale Groups are for community members, not businesses.

  41. John Muldoon on November 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    In jail at the moment for one week. I post 5-6 original local news articles a day to a group I administer and other groups where appropriate.
    The Facebook rules seem opaque and arbitrary. To make matters worse, the appeals process doesn’t work.
    Get this: I let FB know about its mistake and ultimately get this message: “Thanks again for letting us know about this post. We took another look and found it doesn’t go against our Community Standards, so we’ve restored your post. We’re sorry for the trouble and appreciate you taking the time to get in touch with us so that we could correct this.”
    Naturally, the post is nowhere to be found.
    To add insult to injury, everyone in the group I administer (1,600+) gets a notification that I have posted.

    To add even more insult, I boosted a “spam” post to see if Facebook would take money for “spam.” They sure did!

    My suspicion is that all these people in Facebook are so in thrall to their own “genius,” that they think their dopey algorithms are perfect and in no need of maintenance or human intervention.

    To be honest, this is malign monopolistic behavior by a platform/publisher. This company is being investigated by the Senate Intelligence Committee at the moment. I suggest users unfairly caught in this trap write to Congress to let them know that Facebook has written a bunch of half-assed algorithms and that no one is actively managing how they work.

    • Karen Clark
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      on December 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      Hi John – I feel your frustration. I think often one person interprets their community standards one way (strictly) and when you appeal the next person is more reasonable and subjective with it. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of consistency.

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