Over the years, Facebook has become a virtual money-generating juggernaut that has angered more than a few of its loyal users by continually changing its policies and tightening its user restrictions while giving many the impression that it is perhaps masquerading as a spy tool to eavesdrop on anyone with an account.
Conspiracy theories aside, there is one thing that everyone can agree on and that is that businesses know that there are over a billion active user accounts on Facebook and that it a marketers dream come true. But with all of the rules and restrictions that have been implemented on the social network over the years, there have developed with them plenty of ways that users, and marketers, can find themselves banned from the site temporarily or permanently. So what are some of those ways? Good question.
- Using Facebook as a Dating Site
Although it may seem like a great forum for meeting members of the opposite (or same) sex for romantic purposes, Facebook does not take kindly to the practice of promoting yourself in the interest of catching a mate. But to hear Facebook’s policy tell it, the social network site “is not the place to meet people you don’t know.” There are scores of examples of users who have used Facebook to solicit dates from users they’ve never met and many have gone as far as using explicit spam-like messages about everything from porn to erectile dysfunction to garner dates. Believe it or not those tactics worked but Facebook caught on relatively quickly and put the kibosh on the practice, making an example of the brave souls who pioneered it by banning them from the site for life.
- Have the Same Name as Someone Famous
If your name is George Clooney or Mark Zuckerburg but you’re not a celebrity, you may want to consider changing your handle if you’re going to use Facebook. One example of mistaken identity gone bad involved a bankruptcy lawyer from Indianapolis with the same name as the famous Facebook founder. He was getting over 500 friend requests every day and the site eventually blocked his account. He was accused of impersonating the more famous Zuckerburg but after some explaining, he was able to get his account reinstated.
- Post Pics of Women Breastfeeding
It may seem trite and even a little ridiculous on some level but breastfeeding is something of a hot-button topic in the US and breastfeeding advocates were outraged when they learned that two women had posted pics of themselves doing the deed. Facebook said the pics were sexually explicit and banned both users. The site has since issued an apology to both and their accounts are back up and running.
- Post Creative Photos of Your Elbows
Believe it or not, several Facebook users have been banned for posting pics of their bent elbows protruding out in front of them and making them appear as though they were bare breasts. It’s something you have to see to believe but there was one photo in particular that was posted by a group called Theories of the Deep Understanding of Things that features such an elbow shot which Facebook mistook as boobs. They banned the user but apologized later when they learned those boobs were really elbows.
- Post Screenshots of Other People’s Pages
One woman from Iceland was given a 30-day ban from Facebook for posting a screenshot on her page of another Facebook page that contained a death threat against her. The woman is a well-known women’s rights advocate and claims that she gets such threats regularly. She posted the screenshot as proof and was rewarded with the month-long ban.