A jail in the sea shines spotlights out into the sea, one of them contains the facebook logo. Text overlaid: "what is facebook jail and how to avoid it"

What is Facebook Jail – 11 Tips to Save Your Business From Being Banned

Written By Petra Ilic
April 22, 2021

You might be asking – what is Facebook Jail?

Jail isn’t exactly a word you look forward to hearing – especially not if you’re the one being put on trial. However, you might have been put into Facebook Jail

Yes, as unbelievable as it sounds, even a social media platform like Facebook has a jail. 

They miss the iron bars and the orange jumpsuits, but you can still be punished.

But why would you get punished? Well, remember the Terms of Service most of us only press ‘agree’ on and skip without reading? Unfortunately, you most likely broke those. 

If you are a business page owner, make sure to go through Facebook’s Terms of Service to avoid potential repercussions. 

Luckily for you, if you don’t have the patience, we are here to help! Keep on reading and get all the tips and tricks to stay out of Facebook Jail! And maybe we can even help you escape if you’ve already been imprisoned!




What is Facebook Jail?

Facebook Jail has been around for a while, but what is it exactly?

Back in 2019, Mark Zuckerberg initiated the reinforcement of stricter measures to protect the Facebook Community

As a result, the term “Facebook Jail” was born, signifying the ban of private profiles or business pages for a designated period.

This ban comes after either violations of Facebook Community Standards, spammy behaviour or suspicious logins.

The inability to access Facebook can have serious consequences if you use the platform for business purposes.

A business’ Facebook page is a crucial element in keeping your existing customer base engaged and attracting new customers.

An illustration of a jail cell with Facebook logo in the middle
Image from line

So, if you notice someone talking about time in Facebook Jail, now you know that they broke one of Facebook’s Rules of Conduct.

Upon committing any of these offences and violating Facebook Community Conditions, Facebook can suspend your account or ban you from:

  • Liking 
  • Sharing
  • Posting content
  • Sending friend requests 
  • Commenting on posts

What gets you sentenced to Facebook Jail?

Unfortunately, a lack of understanding of these Terms of Service can carry consequences, especially for businesses using the platform to promote or sell products. 

So, let’s make sure we don’t make any mistakes and end up in Facebook Jail!

Actor Liam Neeson talking on the mobile phone. The text in white says: "I have a particular set of skills that always get me thrown into Facebook Jail."
Image by Convosight

Even the best of us sometimes make mistakes, and you may find that you accidentally violated Facebook rules and are not allowed to access your account. 

Here are some things you might be doing that alarm Facebook:

  • Terms violations 
  • Spammy content 
  • Suspicious logins 
  • Using a fake account

Facebook jail for Businesses

As a business, social media platforms are essential to not only promote but also sell your products or services.

Having some features blocked, or even your whole account being in Facebook Jail can have some serious consequences for your sales and ultimately your business. 

So let’s break down the things you’re most likely doing as a business owner that might get you in Facebook jail.

Selling on a platform such as Facebook is very common, and although most people are not aware of it, there are a lot of rules you should know.

When promoting or selling products you should:

  1. Be careful with the word “sold”
  2. Not include dollar signs too much
  3. Avoid posting your brand’s product in groups without permission
  4. Avoid including links in your posts
  5. Avoid advertisement containing nudity or sexual content

On top of this, Facebook also has basic guidelines for selling products or services on their platform. Infringing any of them will also get you some Facebook jail time.

First of all, you’re not allowed to sell:

  • Something that is not physical or real (including services or event tickets)
  • A product with a wrong description
  • Items related to healthcare
  • Products including before and after photos
  • Any animal

Infringing any of these guidelines will however not get you directly sentenced to Facebook Jail, but it will alert Facebook and the platform might be more strict if you break any of their other rules.

How long can you be sentenced to Facebook jail?

If you end up behind bars, you will probably ask yourself the question: How long does Facebook jail last? 

When Facebook puts you in “Fb jail”, the final sentence often varies depending on the violation. Generally, you can be sentenced to a short-term ban or, if you are unlucky, an everlasting one.

Two astronauts talking to each other:
Astronaut 1: "One hour on this planet is 7 years on Earth."
Astronaut 2: Great! We will wait here to get out of facebook jail."
Image created in-house

Short-term sentence – Access to Your Facebook Page is temporarily blocked

Short-term bans range from a few hours ban to a maximum of 21 days. After that, you get your account back.

Long-term sentence – Your Facebook Page Is Permanently Suspended

A permanent suspension means that you can no longer access your account as it has been deleted. Unfortunately, you will not be able to retrieve your account.  

Permanent suspension or a so-called “life sentence” applies in two situations:

  • When you repeat spam actions, or
  • Take forbidden actions punished by Facebook. 

Being unable to access your account again can prove extremely detrimental for any business. This is why you should think twice before posting anything that can get you in trouble. 

What are the consequences of being sentenced to Facebook Jail?

For advertisers and company managers, both temporary and permanent suspensions can result in a significant loss of time and money spent on account development.

Violating Facebook rules and going to Fb jail may lead to:

  • Negative feedback
  • Bad reviews 
  • Audience loss 
  • Client dissatisfaction 

An important point that should be considered is that your Facebook Ads Manager might also be disabled which can affect your online sales significantly.  

This can indeed be the case when your personal or business account is blocked for either a short or a long term. 

It could also happen after having your ad flagged multiple times. So be sure to check if your ads comply with Facebook’s ad policy.

Tips and tricks for selling on Facebook

In order to avoid any misunderstanding between your business and Facebook, we will now provide you with some useful tricks that will help you stay under the radar.

  1. Use emojis

Emojis are a great way to avoid writing certain words that might put you in Facebook jail. As mentioned earlier, some words such as “sold” or the name of an animal alarm Facebook faster than others might. 

When trying to sell clothing with animal print, it might be easier to use the emoji of the animal print instead of writing the name of the animal.

Similarly to the animal emoji, when including a price in a post, using the dollar emoji can help you avoid Facebook jail instead of using the actual dollar sign.

2. Use shortened links 

When you want to refer back to your business’s website. Using the full length link could be considered as spam by Facebook. Using a shorter version will not only look more appealing but will also keep you out of Facebook jail

3. Follow the 9:1:1 rule

As a business account you should know that only posting about selling products could potentially put you in jail.

That’s why we recommend the 9:1:1 rule which goes as follow:

9 posts should contain content that is not directly related to selling such as informing or educating your followers.

Next you can have one post for promotional purposes and then one that is more personal. 

A personal post could be introducing the team. This also leads to a better relation with the audience.

What is the purpose of Facebook Jail? 

According to the platform, Facebook Jail serves the purpose of removing any user that breaches other people’s protections or experience. Facebook’s goal is to serve its clients to the best of their ability.

They try to minimize discrimination and disrespectful content by putting accounts that are guilty of posting offensive, hate speech, or extremism content in Facebook “jail”.

However, there is also a strong financial reasoning behind putting users in Facebook jail besides harming the harmony of the community.

At the end of the day, Facebook is a platform whose main goal is to make profit, through exposing its users to ad sales.

Keeping users entertained and engaged for as long as possible increases Facebook’s ad revenues.

If they allow spammers on the platform, they risk jeopardising the time users spend on the platform and therefore the profit Facebook makes.

Facebook jail contributes to a better user experience which leads to more time spent on the platform and more revenues.

Light red background with two-dimensional letters in grey and white saying: "Good Vibes Only."
Image by Gympass

How do you know if you are in Facebook Jail?

Unfortunately, you are not notified when your actions risk sending you to Facebook Jail. As a result, you might not even realize it until it is too late. 

Many users do not notice that their account is suspended. This happens because Facebook sends an email to the support inbox. It may happen that they don’t notify you at all! 

So, how do you know if you are in Facebook Jail then? 

Well, there are a few things that give away that you’re in Fb jail such as:

  • Not being able to publish on your and other people’s timeline, as well as in groups
  • Being unable to like or comment on posts
  • Being unable to access your Facebook account
  • Inability to access and message your Facebook Messenger

If any of the above are happening to you then Facebook has suspended you.

Additionally, as aforementioned your Facebook Ads Manager might also be disabled which can have negative repercussions on the company.

As all of these activities are central to operating a business on Facebook, you should ensure that you aren’t breaking any rules!There is a silver lining however: a Facebook ban will not block your Instagram account, so you will be able to access your audience this way!

The image with the text notifying that the post has been blocked. The text says: "This Feature is Temporarily Blocked. You recently posted something that violates Facebook policies, so you're temporarily blocked from using this feature. For more information, visit the Help Center. To keep from getting blocked again, please make sure you've read and understand Facebook's Community Standards."
Image from Mainwashed

How to get out of Facebook jail early?

So, if you’re currently in Fb jail, you’re probably wondering how to get out! 

For business account managers, we understand the urgency to escape, especially as every minute you spend in Facebook jail is costing you money.

So, is there a way to make a prison break? Of course there is! 

Your ban can be lifted earlier than the assigned date. All you need to do is call Mark Zuckerberg on his personal phone and he will solve everything. So simple, right?

Finally free! 

In all seriousness though, the solution to escape Facebook Jail is to try and contest their decision with the Help and Support Center. 

If you are lucky and if Facebook establishes that your post didn’t violate the Rules of Conduct, they will remove the ban. 

If not, your only solution, unfortunately, is to be patient and wait until you’ve “served the sentence”. Often, after getting notified by Facebook that your account has temporarily been blocked, it should also mention how long the Facebook jail sentence will be.

Still if you’re in Fb jail, don’t despair, being banned from Facebook gives you an opportunity to discover new marketing tactics such as:

An image presenting various logos of online social channels.
Ideas to pass the time while banned from Facebook. Image by Minterest

Tips to avoid Facebook Jail

If you want to remain a good citizen or if you’ve pulled off The Shawshank Redemption from a Facebook cell, you need to ensure you aren’t spammy and disrespectful ever again! 

No one wants to be fresh out of Facebook jail and go right back.

Business owners should avoid spamming as this will avert potential clients from checking out your offer. 

Overposting can lead to a further suspension because your content is against Facebook’s Community Standards. 

To avoid the bans and loss of audience, we have made a list of best tips to avoid ending up in Facebook Jail.

A white cockatoo looks at camera through a hole in the wall of a cage. White text overlaid: "there is no prison that can hold me"
Image from Pinterest

Do not act like a spammer on Facebook – 2 Posts a Day rule

You are not the Flash and you do not have to share a bunch of posts in only five minutes. 

In fact, there are numerous studies of facebook posting frequency citing that you should keep your business page posts to a limit of two a day.

Overposting will put you straight behind bars because you will be likely considered a spammer instead of a “hero”.

Maury Povich is sitting in a studio with brick walls, and reading from a leaflet. The text on the image says: "If you're a spammer, there's a 100% chance you are!.. On our ignore list."
Make sure not to end up on the ignore list! Image from ImgFlip

Go easy on your audience

A particularly sensitive and easily disappointed group that you shouldn’t trigger with too many messages are your customers

You can reach new customers through either posts that they will see on their timeline or by messaging them directly.

If you’re doing the latter be sure to avoid too many push messages and notifications and spamming their inboxes.

The best way to ensure you are not spamming your followers is to take some time, ideally a few hours, between every post or message. Try to have everything arranged and scheduled beforehand. 

In the long run, it is better to work a little longer to achieve the goal, than to lose everything because you have become Facebook’s prisoner!

Try to post regularly and moderately which will significantly diminish the chances of getting banned and will increase engagement with your followers!

A woman in a grey dress sitting at the office desk, holding a computer mouse. There is a telephone, file cases, and a computer screen on the desk. The woman laid her upper body on the desk and covered herself with a huge number of white sheets of paper that have red letters on them saying "spam."
Do not be a spammer. Image from Forbes

What are “spam actions” on Facebook?

As spamming is one of the most frequent reasons for account suspension, we want to be sure you won’t make that mistake by listing the following actions you should avoid:

  • Many friend request in a short period of time
  • Image and video shares that are highlighted as spam 
  • Multiple posts of similar content
  • Excessive comments
  • Over-tagging
  • Overposting in groups too frequently

We have some good news though! Facebook perceives older and more established accounts more favorably. So, if you have been on the platform for a longer period,  you are less likely to get banned, even in cases where you’ve committed a (small) violation!! 

While Facebook is the focus of this article, we want to make sure that all of your social media accounts operate perfectly! In case you have a LinkedIn account, make sure to check our LinkedIn ShadowBan article to steer clear of any risk of suspension on this platform.

Be original – Don’t publish other people’s content on Facebook

Everybody loves originality and uniqueness. It’s innovative, makes a better impression, and is usually extremely engaging

Even Community Managers recommend that you post original content to lower the risk of ending up in Facebook Jail. Make sure to avoid plagiarism, as this is a sure-fire way to land in Facebook jail.

Original content will increase trustworthiness, attracting both your current audience and new users to engage with your content! 

On top of that, you will have a one-of-a-kind profile with a unique vibe! 

Finally, the more original the content, the less the chance to be marked as spam. Take into consideration that originality applies to text and links as well! 

We have listed some fantastic ideas to ensure you are always fresh, up to date, and original!

  • Make sure to post high-quality content.
  • Keep in mind what your audience loves and is interested in.
  • Always aim at triggering an emotional response.
  • Offer incentives if you are a business owner.

Mix up your content offering – make video content, infographics, blog posts – variety is key for audience engagement.

Image from David Ventzel

Automated Software – Facebook doesn’t like robots

Automated software offers fantastic mechanisms that are time- and cost-effective for practically every online business.

However, you should be aware that this software can potentially also send you to Facebook Jail. 

What happens is that with automation, your Facebook activity is faster compared to manual work and you may end up unintentionally spamming your users. 

Inaccurate automation can increase the risk of alarming Facebook that you are a spammer or robot instead of a human. So, make sure to be careful when using the tools and we are sure you will enjoy great benefits in no time!

An illustrated image of a person standing in the middle of a navy blue background surrounded with automated software. The person is looking at the floating screen that gives him different automation tools: Automation Testing, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Big Data Testing, IoT Testing, Blockchain Testing, Performance Engineering, Security Testing.
Carefully use automated software. Image from TestingWhiz

Your followers are not always your friends – Remove Fake Followers

Unfortunately, not all of your Facebook followers are likely to be your most devoted fans. A small percentage of your followers will dislike what you are posting and will be vocal about it. 

Why these people follow Facebook business profiles and try to destroy their reputation remains a mystery.

However, what may happen is that the “haters” decide to:

  • Report your posts 
  • Dislike your posts
  • Leave negative comments

The best solution here is to avoid conflicts by detecting those accounts and blocking them. 

As a second option, you can denounce them on Facebook as trolls. Unfortunately, those who report other people’s posts as spam are usually using fake accounts.

Taking responsible action and notifying Facebook to deal with the issue will ensure that you stay on the safe side, while the troublemaker may end up in Facebook Jail.

A flock of sheep, with a wolf in sheep's clothing standing in the middle.
Be careful with your followers! Image from Life Hack

Check before you tag – Don’t Over-do-it

You probably got tagged sometimes in a photo you were not even in! Truly pointless and slightly irritating, right? 

To prevent your audience from ever feeling this way, make sure not to tag people who are not in the photo. Also, do not tag those who are not connected to your post.  

Over-tagging in photos is an act of spamming, and will most likely get you straight to Facebook jail.

Our advice is to always ensure that the users you are tagging know you and you know them. If you tag unfamiliar people, you might be reported as a spammer or a scammer. And Facebook has some strict rules for those!

Curiously, Facebook does not consider mentioning users in the comment section as an offence. So, in case you do need to tag people, do it in the comments and avoid being put in jail.

Screenshots of two Facebook activities. The first shot is a notification window showing three new notifications that a user has been tagged. The second shot shows an image of four friends smiling and a Facebook option to tag yourself on it.
Make sure to tag the right people! Image from wccftech

URL links are also carefully scrutinized by Facebook. 

Improperly attaching links or repeating the same link can put you in front of the grand jury! And their decision is usually some time in Facebook Jail. 

Keep in mind that sharing the same link in multiple posts within a short period, just like any other form of over-posting, can be considered as a spam action

In addition to this, let’s be honest, the longer the link, the less pleasing it looks. 

So, for aesthetic and legal reasons, you better try to shorten the URLs. Luckily, there are lots of useful websites such as goo.gl, wp.me, or bit.ly that can help you with this task.

Two screenshots of the same Facebook post. The screenshot shows a post with a short URL link vs. a post with a long URL link.
Always work with short links! Image from Moz

Keep your facebook business page info clear and updated

Facebook officials and users do not really enjoy accounts that are “mysterious”. On the contrary, they try to avoid them as much as possible. 

A business page with very little information about the company, will make the potential customers feel uneasy and suspicious about the products you’re selling and ultimately will not purchase them.

To stay out of Facebook Jail, make sure to always remain transparent about who you are. 

If you display all the relevant data in the Page Info and Page Owners sections, people will be less likely to report you. 

By clearly stating your information on your Facebook profile, you are showing your followers that:

  • Your profile is real
  • There is an actual person behind the profile 
  • You are not a spammer 

Even if they see something they do not like, they might write you a message instead of going straight to the three dots and report button.

A simple task for you that will ensure your safety and make your followers happy!

A person in a black hoodie with an indiscernible face. The face is completely dark. The background is black.
Show people who you are. Image from Digiconomist

Be careful when changing important Page information

Upon creating your private profile or business page on Facebook, they will require you to provide some necessary information.

The info you need to add includes:

  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Payment methods

The provided information is a proof of your legitimacy. Hence, any sudden change and action taken in these fields can alarm Facebook authorities.

Therefore, in case you really need to change any information, make sure to do it by the book. Also, upon changing the info, ensure that you are not using any Facebook advertising tools for at least 7 days.

This way, Facebook will know that nobody stole your account or uses it for suspicious activity.

Illustration of Coyote chasing Roadrunner. The scene from Looney Tunes Cartoon.
Don’t be too fast! The faster you run, the bigger the chances Facebook will catch you! Image by BCNN1

Use a single device. Logins from all over the world looks strange…

One simple rule to follow when it comes to Facebook accounts is not to have more than ONE on ONE device. 

Be prepared, if you are using more than one account on your phone or computer, Facebook might once again think you are a spammer. 

Unfortunately, if Facebook decides to prosecute you, there is a high risk that all of the accounts will be blocked, rather than only one. 

On the bright side, at least you have some company in Facebook Jail! 

However, to avoid any risks make sure to link no more than one account on your device, especially if you are a business owner. 

Make sure to inform employees who work on the company’s Facebook account that they should have only this page open on their working computer. 

Then, you are ensuring your staff is fully focused on their work, and you stay on the safe part of the law!

A man holding a cup of take-away coffee and a phone. He is searching his Facebook profile on his phone.
One account – one device. Image from Medium

Avoid inappropriate content on Facebook

The truth is – nobody who followed the code of conduct ever got in trouble!

Following Facebook’s directions is a sure way to stay out of Facebook Jail. One of these directions is that you should only post appropriate content. 

If you are interested to learn more about what kind of posts you should refrain from posting you can find more information in the Community Standards, specifically in the Safety and Objectionable Content sections. 

In short, you should avoid posting text, photos, and videos that imply

  • Discriminatory speech
  • Violent content
  • Sexual content
  • Sexual solicitation
  • Cruelty and insensitivity 

Even if it is meant as a joke or to draw people’s attention, Facebook will most likely be alarmed, delete the content and put your business account in Facebook jail.  

And as we have mentioned, Facebook jail goes along with the complete temporary or permanent loss of your page, which can be the end of your business as well.It’s important to remember here: better safe than sorry! If you’re not sure whether your content will breach Facebook Community guidelines, just don’t post it.

An older lady with grey hair, holding her purple glasses at the edge of her nose and looking. The text on the image says: "'The Grandma Rule,' Don't post anything online that you wouldn't want your Grandma to see!"
Think and check before you post something. Image from Blogger

Never end up in Facebook jail (again)

Most marketers depend on social media to promote their business and communicate with their customers. Being held back by a reckless action will cost you your audience, not to mention valuable time, and money.

So besides uploading your best content, pay attention to the following: 

  • Reread Facebook’s ever-changing terms & conditions.
  • Spamming! It is still one of the first reasons that pages get suspended.
  • Create relevant, original, entertaining, and honest social media posts.

If you’re doing all of this, you are on the right path to staying out of Facebook Jail. 

Make sure to follow our Best tips to avoid account suspension and we can assure you that you will be miles away from getting into Facebook Jail.

Need help scaling and managing your social media? You know that’s what we do right? Check us out and get in touch, Klint Marketing.

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1 Comment

  1. amrita

    Thanks for sharing your list these are very useful and I will start building manual backlinks for my website.

    Reply

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