No, There Is No Facebook Jail, But There Is Some Truth Behind the Hoax

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No, There Is No Facebook Jail, But There Is Some Truth Behind the Hoax
[ Social Media]

Don’t worry, there is no Facebook Jail – although the concept is intriguing. An old viral hoax involving account suspensions and friend requests has morphed to suggest that sending too many requests could land you in this hellish place.

The hoax suggests that Facebook is banning people from the site willy-nilly, for simply sending out too many friend requests. “Nice people are getting banned by Facebook, and it could happen to you!” warns the hoax status.

Although the hoax is wrong and misleading, there’s a tiny shred of truth in it (unlike some hoaxes). First, here’s what you may see floating around your news feed:

Or, you may see the viral message in this format:

VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ: Nice people are getting banned from facebook and it could happen to you, too – the reason is because when you get a friend request, if you click the “not now” button, you will automatically recieve a request from Facebook saying, “Do you know this person?” if you click no, that person will automatically be suspended from group chats, blocked from sending friend requests, and other nasty things for 7-30 days, and if it happens enough – permanently. So please.. if you get an unwanted friend request, just ignore it. If you accidentally click the “not now” button, then ignore the request from facebook asking if you know them – do not respond to it. Please pass this around so we can protect our friends (and ourselves!).

A permanent ban from Facebook, thus “Facebook Jail.”

First and foremost, Facebook does not permanently ban accounts simply because too many people have rejected their friend requests. But, Facebook does block users from sending additional friend requests in this situation:

“If your account is temporarily blocked from sending friend requests, it’s because friend requests you’ve sent have gone unanswered or been marked as unwelcome. From now on, please don’t send friend requests to people you don’t know personally. Facebook is a place for connecting with friends, family, classmates, coworkers and other people you know well,” says Facebook in its Help Center.

Even then, users can still utilize every other aspect of Facebook.

“Your account is only blocked from sending friend requests and messages to people you don’t know. This block is temporary, and you can still use other Facebook features during it.”

Facebook does reserve the right to remove your account at its discretion, if you break the terms of service. These terms include a ban on “abusive” behavior, as well as habitually breaking Facebook law. So, technically, your account could be suspended for spamming friend requests, over and over again.

But it’s unlikely that this is happening to “nice people” out there who are just trying to make new friends. And there definitely is no Facebook Jail.

[Hoax-Slayer via AllFacebook]

No, There Is No Facebook Jail, But There Is Some Truth Behind the Hoax
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  • http://www.baltimorenewsjournal.com Baltimore News Journal

    It’s really amazing how many of these viral hoaxes get spread around on Facebook. Ironically, this one is about Facebook itself. Too funny.

  • Rachel

    This “hoax” has more than a little truth to it. FB does NOT want people to make friends and connections to people they do not already know. If a user tries to friend someone with a similar interest that they have not physically met, they CAN and DO suspend friend requests. No spamming is necessary to get suspended, one or two rejected requests can do it. Ignore Friend Requests you do not want, otherwise you are blackballing someone for NO GOOD REASON!

  • http://www.bradleyanderson.me Bradley

    “Your account is only blocked from sending friend requests and messages to people you don’t know. This block is temporary, and you can still use other Facebook features during it.”

    That’s dead wrong. I am not able to send friend requests. I am not able to Like anything. I am not able to respond to posts (including my own). I am not allowed to join groups. I am not allowed to use apps.

    I can: a) post an update (but not respond to anyone who responds to me, and b) Share other people’s posts.

    That’s it. It is not a ‘hoax’. True, it is not actually a jail, but this has been my REALITY for the last 33 days (notice that’s ABOVE 30 days).

    And yes, this IS because I sent requests to people I didn’t know. All at once, though, not at different times, when I first set up the account several months ago.

    Even after deleting all my outstanding friend requests, and not signing in for over a week, I still got this ban (IMMEDIATELY following a 2 week ban where I wasn’t allowed to do anything, so how did I do something ELSE to get banned again?)

    This is NOT a hoax. “Facebook Jail” is a term used to describe being banned from using Facebook features, not being banned from using Facebook altogether.

    • Ronda

      I, too, have been in FB “jail” for over 30 days now, and still have no clue as to what happened to land me there. I only sent out two FRs, both of which were accepted, in the past month; but over the past year have maybe sent about ten requests that were accepted – for games. How that can be considered too many friend requests is beyond me. Other things that have been suggested on help pages include the possibility that one of my posts could have been reported as spam. Huh? Is it that easy? Incredible.

      I’ve asked FB to fill me in as to why or how I came to be in this situation (they haven’t) and I’ve even severely limited my FB activity to a status update maybe every 4-5 days (previously I updated a lot, and never an issue) and since I’m unable to like anything or respond to conversations under posts I’ve been living over on G+, where they are less likely to throw you into the cooler without at least letting you know why.

      Automated system or not, Facebook staff are intelligent enough to add in a few lines of code that can at least inform you as to why you’re in FB jail, and what you can do to avoid it in the future as well as what you can do now to renovate your page so that it’s acceptable to standards (if that’s the case) or to clean up the friend request list (as you have stated in your post).

      It’s ridiculous, this automated system that they cannot override. Not only is it annoying for regular users, it’s also extremely limiting for businesses that have pages and for those causes that don’t seem to be very popular with the FB folk.

      More than a month is a little too severe for an unknown infraction, don’t you think?

  • Brian

    I think this is ludicrous, and a site such as FB should be to expand your networks. I feel people should only be banned for things that are clearly illegal, such as soliciting underage people for sex, or for excessive profanity and posts promotion personal attack. Other than that it deserves to be an open forum. I believe that’s the way it was when it first started.

  • Cory

    hmm, doubt it. Ever played a facebook game? Y’know, the ones that require you to have x friends to progress (every. single. one.). Real life friends dont pester each other (ususally) with these insane daily interruptions – every game has an add-me site to get your game friends from. You don’t know any of these freinds. If facebook didn’t want to “create” the frinedships, they wouldn’t allow these types of games. But they make big bucks from it; so they ~say~ they don’t want to do so while taking the money from your wallet by doing so.

  • Jan

    Just got blocked for 3rd time!!! Yet my roommate has tons of “friends” he does NOT Know !!!!

    They seem to single out certain people that they just don’t
    Want to have very many friends!

    I’m sick + FED-UP!!

    This time I’ve been completely shut out !!! So when I put in my password I changed it + Told them what they could do with themselves !!!! And deleted FB OFF my phone. And will be deleting them off of everything else as we’ll. I,m. DONE !!!!!

  • robert rabinowitz

    There should be no limits of people making friends whether know them or not. Because if allow it happen maybe more people would be willing to accept each other without hate or bias. plus it is a good way to brosden ones horizons by meeting new people.

  • William

    I strongly agreed to Mr.Bradley. I had that bad experiences! I was banned to send request etc exactly as per Mr.Bradley but after 14 days, I received another warning to continue to blocked me for 30 days!

    I was like WTF! I cannot do anything during that 14 days! How the hell they make the decision to extend it for another 30 days?

    Facebook is another dictator in social media. They use their high influence power to control the netizen. They are worst than China Gov. They even allow so many spam ads in my notification or news feed!

    They also never remove racist comment! I had reported many times obvious racist comment but their admin will remain silent by saying no fraud found! F them!

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