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.