When you hear the term “jail time“, you’re thinking about actual jail time, like being behind bars and being afraid of dropping the soap, right?
Well, Facebook jail time is a bit like that, only without the physical imprisonment and the soap part. Facebook will restrict your ability to use the platform in one or several ways (account restrictions or bans).
They might stop you from:
- Messaging people
- Commenting on posts
- Posting on your timeline or on friends’ timelines
- Accessing your account (temporarily or permanently)
Below, I’ll talk more about the reasons for Facebook’s jail time, how long it lasts, what this means for your account, and how you can avoid it.
This is going to be a long one, so find a comfortable position and let’s start 😀
When Do You Get Jail Time on Facebook?
To put it simply, jail time encompasses any type of restriction or punishment from Facebook’s support team (or the automatic algorithm). This also applies to any social media platform, so you can also have Instagram jail, for instance.
The reasons for being “arrested” on Facebook (or Instagram) are varied and diverse, but I’ll try to go through them below:
- Provocative and nudity posts – Facebook is used by underaged children, so posting content 18+ will result in hail time
- Engaging in spam – Sending bulk messages or ignoring someone’s requests to stop messaging them qualifies as spam, and this may lead to jail time.
- Hate speech – Insulting or attacking people on Facebook is not the most cordial thing you can do. In fact, it’s not allowed by the platform, and engaging in it will result in punishment.
- Plagiarism– Yep, copy-pasting posts without acknowledging the author (if the author complains) is actually “illegal” on Facebook
- Doing things too fast – Posting too fast, liking too fast, commenting too fast, any one of these actions may lead to an “action block” or jail time.
- Harassing people – This can mean anything from insulting someone to following them around (digitally), spamming them, and so on. Again, jail time for you if you engage in this
- Posting fake news – If it’s found that you’re intentionally trying to mislead the public, you’ll be thrown into Facebook’s jail without a second notice.
- Threatening users – Quite obvious that this isn’t allowed on the platform, right? Making death threats or threatening people with violence will have serious repercussions on Facebook.
If I were to give a reason for ending up in the Facebook jail, it would be unreasonably aggressive and seeking out trouble intentionally.
Keep in mind that these aren’t the only things that might get you jail time on Facebook. Far from it, in fact. You can read more about Facebook’s guidelines here.
How Can I Avoid Jail Time on Facebook?
- Spam on the platform
- Threaten people
- Be racist, xenophobic, or any other “phobic“
- Shame people or engage in hate speech
- Post nudity publicly
- Post excessive violent clips
- Glorify self-injury
- Attempt to deceive people
- Post fake stories and lies to people
- Plagiarize important content without acknowledging the author
- Impersonate other people
- Praise terrorism or organized crime
- And so on…
As I said, if you want a complete list of do’s and don’ts on Facebook, visit their Community Guidelines webpage, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
In a nutshell, Facebook expects you to act reasonably, like an adult. Don’t insult people needlessly or threaten them with violence, don’t promote fake news or try to deceive people, and so on.
Of course, Facebook may or may not overstep its bounds with what it doesn’t allow its users to do or say, but that’s a story for another time.
Types of Facebook Jail Time
Yep, you heard me right; there isn’t just “one” type of jail time on Facebook. There are actually three types of restrictions, or punishments, if you will, on Facebook:
- Low-tier jail time is temporary and may last between 24 hours to 30 days. You can appeal these types of bans and may receive a favorable answer in return.
- Middle-tier jailtime refers to a permanent restriction put on certain actions (liking, commenting, posting, etc.) on Facebook. This isn’t a complete account ban since you can still access the account. You just won’t be able to do certain things. This ban is also temporary, though longer than low-tier bans.
- High-tier jail time is simple. Your account is permanently banned, disabled, and deleted, so you won’t be able to recover it. This type of jail time is reserved for the most severe of violations like hack attempts.
What you might not realize is that even after you’re out of jail and you have complete control over your account, Facebook is still watching you.
You’re in a probation period for 7 days. Breaking any of the rules within that period, no matter how insignificant, may lead to additional jail time instead of a warning or a lighter punishment.
That’s because Facebook determines that you still haven’t learned your lesson if you’re breaking the rules immediately after getting out of jail for other violations.
Myths About Facebook Jailtime
Facebook jailtime is so ever-present in our lives that there are several myths going on around the internet, and I think it’s worth it to put them down once and for all.
So, here are some of the myths you’ll find online about Facebook jail time:
Myth #1 – Using Auto-Schedulers Will Send You to Jail
That is completely untrue IF you use auto-schedulers in a reasonable manner.
What I mean by that is avoiding spam. You can schedule the bot to post once per day or once every 10 minutes.
The former will never get you in jail, while the latter has an almost 100% chance of getting you in Facebook’s jail after some time.
So, what matters is HOW you use the auto-scheduler, not that you’re using it in the first place.
Myth #2 – Using Third-Party Apps Is a Crime
No, that’s not true. Countless Facebook accounts are using third-party apps right this moment (including me), and no one’s getting banned or restricted.
Again, what matters is WHAT apps you’re using and HOW you’re using them. Are you using a third-party app to infiltrate other people’s accounts and hack their data? Then, yeah, that’s against the rules (duh).
But are you using Hootsuite to better manage your posts and streamline your social business? Then, you’re completely fine and shouldn’t worry about a thing unless you’re spam-posting.
Myth #3 – Auto Messages Will Get You Suspended
Again, absolutely not true.
Automated messages are actually not against Facebook’s community guidelines. Spam is, on the other hand. And so are inappropriate messages.
How exactly are you conducting your mass messaging campaign? In a spammy, bot-like manner that floods the platform with messages?
Or as part of a reasonable, user-friendly, and comfortable market strategy to promote your business? The two are as far away from one another as China’s social credit system is from freedom.
I recommend offering people clear-cut opt-in and opt-out options from your marketing mass messages, though. Make the messages valuable and relevant, and treat your customers fairly, and you won’t have any problems with Facebook!
Myth #4 – You Can’t Promote External Links
This one is a bit of a confusing topic. Facebook doesn’t have anything against promotional links, and you can totally do that.
However, using the same link in your post descriptions may be flagged as spam by the algorithm (since the link counts as identical content).
A handy solution I’ve found to work is including the link in a comment in comment section. That way, you won’t only avoid the algorithm but maybe even create a discussion around it.
And who doesn’t want more engagement from their followers?
Myth #5 – Saying “Sold” Is a Death Sentence
Nope, this one isn’t true, either. Facebook won’t punish or penalize you for saying that word aloud on the platform.
Those who receive jail time for saying “sold” are punished not for the word itself but because the things they’re selling are against the Community Guidelines (like selling guns or drugs).
Services or event tickets, non-existent items, healthcare-related items, animal-related items, you name it (yep, Facebook doesn’t take it well when you make sales posts about animals).
But if you’re selling something legal that’s within the community guidelines, saying “sold” won’t harm you in any way.
Three Ways to Get Out of the Facebook Jail
Sheesh, you’re here to learn how to get out of Facebook’s jail, aren’t you? That’s why you’re reading this article, right?
Well, you won’t like my answers because there’s essentially no “magic” method to break open Facebook’s account restrictions.
All you can do is:
- Serve your time and wait until the restrictions go away naturally. Yeah, I know this isn’t a solution to your issue, but… it’s the best way to get out of jail
- File an appeal to Facebook – yep, if you think the jail time was unjustified or completely bogus, you can appeal, and maybe you’ll get away scot-free.
- Create a new account – not really a solution, but if you still want to use Facebook until your ban goes away, create another account.
Disappointed? That is understandable, but there’s really nothing you can do other than appeal the ban and hoping for the best.
Jailtime is not an official term on Facebook. It was created by users to reflect the restrictions and account bans that Facebook dishes out to users who violate its guidelines.
So, the terms “jailtime” and “account restrictions” or “bans” are almost entirely synonymous. However, jailtime can refer to both temporary and permanent bans and also to account restrictions (inability to like or comment).
In any case, let me know down below if there’s anything else you’d like to know about jail time on Facebook, and I’ll reply as soon as I can!