Tech Time: Banned from Facebook

Half a billion users take advantage of Facebook as a social media platform for both personal and professional reasons. With such a diversity of people, it’s hard for Facebook to fulfill its mandate to, “strike a balance between giving people freedom to express their viewpoints and maintain a safe and trusted environment.” Sometimes, good people get ‘banned from Facebook’.

Unfortunately, a Facebook account may be suspended or deactivated with or without warning from the administrators for various reasons.

Spamming and Phishing
To prevent users from taking advantage of the platform, Facebook routinely deactivates the accounts of users who send too many friends requests, post too many identical wall posts, poke too many people or post too many promotional links. Problem is, no one knows how much is too much, or too much too soon.

Offensive Content
Facebook's rules state users “will not post content that is hateful, threatening, or pornographic, or that incites violence, or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” But this interpretation can be very broad. Facebook has been known to censor images of persons post surgery, naked babies in a tub, pregnant women inspired by Demi Moore and even classic art.

Other violations
Having multiple accounts, using a fake (or celebrity name even if its your real name) or posting material that is in violation of copyright laws will also get an account ‘banned’.
Facebook routinely monitors as many pages as it can to identify and ‘punish’ offenders of its policies, but it also relies on its users to report offensive and inappropriate content. Every user is empowered to tag content as inappropriate with the simple click of a mouse. Unfortunately, this too can be abused.

Suspended accounts can be restored, but it is not a simple or fast process. Worse, the process is not guaranteed. Users must email Facebook and plead their case in the most eloquent way possible. Emails to Facebook are routinely not answered (in part because of the sheer volume), so banned users must be prepared to send multiple, personalized emails over time (because multiple generic emails all at once will be considered spam and not considered for a response).

It is then decidedly better not to have an account deactivated, rather then try to have a suspended account restored.

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