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banned from social networkThe Web has opened up lines of communication that were previously closed for the vast majority of the world. Anyone with an Internet connection can now head online and talk to someone on the other side of the world using any one of a range of different services. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are the obvious options.

There is unfortunately a tendency to abuse these new lines of communication, by expressing opinions that would be best kept unsaid, attacking people that may or may not deserve it, spreading salacious gossip, or posting inappropriate content. What is often and easily forgotten is that it’s entirely possible to get banned from social networks, with some rules applying across the board, and others that individual sites have put in place.

What follows is a short and simple guide on how to get banned from social networks. Not that you should try (or even want to), of course, in which case you can treat this as a short and simple guide on what to avoid doing if you want to safeguard your position on your social networking site of choice.


Facebook is the most popular social network on the Web, at least popular in terms of the number of users, but not necessarily in terms of likability. From the feedback we’ve received Why Facebook Is Right To Force Timeline On Everybody [Opinion] Why Facebook Is Right To Force Timeline On Everybody [Opinion] If you haven't yet switched your Facebook profile over to the new Timeline then the chances are Facebook is getting rather insistent that you do. And it's no wonder. It's been 8 months since Timeline... Read More about Zuckerberg’s creation it seems many people belong to the site begrudgingly. Those who no longer want to be a part of Facebook can get themselves banned quite easily.

banned from social network

Create a Profile Or Page Without Permission

If you’re not Kanye West then don’t create a profile pretending to be him. If you do then you may get chucked off the site before you can don those stupid glasses of his as some kind of disguise.

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Post Copyrighted Content To Excess

You may have downloaded various pieces of content illicitly, but put them on Facebook and the resulting action is likely to be severe. Especially if you do it continuously.

Post Pornography, Nudity Or Graphic Content

You can look at pornography all you want, assuming you’re happy with the possible consequences Pornography Addiction: The Hidden Struggle & How to Break Free [Feature] Pornography Addiction: The Hidden Struggle & How to Break Free [Feature] Anon22 discovered Internet porn when he was just 12 years old. For around 10 years, Anon22 has enjoyed pornography using his computer once or twice a day, a compulsion that he claims ruined his social... Read More of doing so, but if you then post it to Facebook you’ll find yourself banned.

Threaten, Bully Or Harass Other Users

There are bullies everywhere, even online. If you’re one of them, and you decide to target someone for whatever reason, then Facebook may just turn the tables and bully you off the site.

Run a Pyramid Scheme

Some forms of multi-level marketing are a nasty business, with only those at the top gaining any real benefits. Until they’re thrown in jail. This isn’t merely frowned upon by Facebook, but unlawful in real-life as well.


Twitter has even more to contend with than Facebook in terms of managing its users and their interactions with each other. Anyone can follow anyone else without an invitation, which means Twitter has stringent rules in place to prevent chaos ensuing. This means, once again, that it’s a breeze to get yourself banned from the service.

social network ban

Pretend To Be Someone You’re Not

It’s Kanye again. Oh no, it isn’t.

Create Multiple, Overlapping Accounts

You are allowed to create multiple accounts on Twitter, but not if you’re doing so for nefarious purposes. Especially if they’re all being used for the same kinds of activity.

Buy & Sell Usernames

Twitter took some time to grow into the behemoth it is today, which meant all the best usernames were snapped up by geeky early-adopters. If you’re one of them you cannot now decide to make a profit by selling that username on, no matter how tempting it may be to do so.

Buy & Sell Users

It may also be tempting to buy followers using one of those companies offering ways of doing so. Don’t. They’re breaking the rules, and you would be too.

Spam Your Followers

We’re all so used to spam emails 6 Precautions You Should Take Against Email Harvesters & Spammers 6 Precautions You Should Take Against Email Harvesters & Spammers Spam has its roots in email harvesting. Email harvesting is the umbrella term for the methods spammers (or bulk email marketers) use to obtain email addresses in volumes. It could be as low tech as... Read More that most of us don’t even give them a second glance these days. Especially as spam filters are so good at stopping them getting through in the first place. Sadly spammers have turned elsewhere, including Twitter.


Google+ is reportedly growing at a rate of knots, mainly thanks to Google’s integration of its social network into many of its other services. Most don’t then seem to follow through by playing an active role on the site, but those who do have a strict set of rules to abide by if they want to avoid being banned.

social network ban

Create a Page That Isn’t Yours To Create

Kanye! With the glasses! Nope, it’s some random person pretending to be him.

Run a Contest Directly On Your Page

By all means link to a contest you’re running on an external site, but you’re not allowed to run the contest exclusively on Google+.

Try & Use SEO Techniques

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a legitimate practice when it’s done well and for the right reasons. And shameful when it’s done badly and/or for the wrong reasons. It’s heartily frowned upon on Google+.

Go Out Of Your Way To Promote Hatred Towards Minority Groups

Bullying an individual is one thing, bullying, or inciting the bullying of, a group just because they’re different in some way is quite another. Both are bad, either could get you banned.

Aggressively Add Random People To Your Circles

Google+ is all about the Circles which you use to organize your contacts 7 Must-Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles 7 Must-Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles Google Plus isn't dead. In fact, it's been growing. Some people even think Google Plus will prevail big time in 2013 and they have solid arguments. This should make those happy who are already using... Read More . Adding numerous strangers to Circles in a short space of time will see your account potentially flagged for abuse.


LinkedIn isn’t your typical social networking site, surviving while so many others have passed away by catering to professionals building online résumés and a network of like-minded individuals. If anything this means the scope for abusing the system is even larger, and there are a variety of different ways to get yourself banned.

social network ban

Connect With Strangers Without Good Reason

LinkedIn is all about networking in a legitimate way with others in the same field of business as yourself. It isn’t about gaining as many contacts as you can, and you’ll be punished for trying to do that.

Post Copyrighted Content To Excess

If you don’t own it then don’t share it. Without explicit permission from the real owner.

Insert Links In Inappropriate Places

This is a form of spamming, referring to placing a link to an external site within a field not designed to hold such information.

Introduce a Worm, Virus, Or Phishing Technique To The Site

If you’re the source of malware on LinkedIn then you can expect to be expelled from the site with short shrift.

Gain Connections Inorganically

You’re meant to build connections in an organic manner, and if you choose to bypass that time-consuming process by employing nefarious techniques you’ll pay the price by being kicked off the site.


Pinterest grew from nothing to become one of the largest social networks seemingly overnight. We like it so much we created a guide to Pinterest. By focusing on content rather than the people it was able to differentiate itself from the competition, and yet it still suffers from the same issues as its rivals. Most of the ways to get yourself banned are centered around the type of content you choose to post to the site.

banned from social network

Create An Account That Isn’t Yours To Create

Kanye? Pinning images to boards? Well, I never.

Get Caught Posting Copyrighted Content

It’s not yours and it’s clearly protected under copyright laws. But you do have to get caught first.

Automate & Scrape

It’s not exactly hard work to pin content onto Pinterest. Even so, some people like to bypass the manual process and automate it instead. Even though it’s against the rules. As is scraping content or personal information.

Spam Your Fellow Pinners

Spam can crop up anywhere. Even on Pinterest. It’s not big, it’s not clever, and it may get you banned for life.

Encourage Others To Engage In Illicit Activity

We’re obviously not encouraging you to do any of the above (on Pinterest or any of the other sites), just merely pointing out what kind of things will get you banned or at least strongly censured.


What should be immediately obvious from reading the above is how many of the same rules apply across the board. If you want to keep your place on social networks then don’t spam others, don’t post copyrighted content without permission, and don’t pretend you’re someone you’re not. These are effectively universal rules that need to be adhered to at all times. Unless you want to test the system and challenge “the man.” And likely get banned as a result.

Have you ever been banned from one of the social networks included above? If so, was it intentional on your part? And what was your alleged crime? Feel free to recount your story in the comments section below, or alternatively use the opportunity to otherwise have your say on social networks and how they govern the users they attract.

Image Credits: Steve Snodgrass

  1. martin
    March 28, 2013 at 4:14 am

    That was really helpful. Thanks

  2. Cheryl Kissell
    February 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Hey WHAT happened to the Yahoo Log-In? I couldn't get on without facebook?

    Wanted to comment on this article because the WRITER is VERY mis-informed!

    You said: "Run a Pyramid Scheme

    Some forms of multi-level marketing are a nasty business, with only those at the top gaining any real benefits. Until they’re thrown in jail. This isn’t merely frowned upon by Facebook, but unlawful in real-life as well."

    Pyramid Schemes are exactly that...they ARE NOT multi-level marketing (also known as network marketing, direct selling, referral marketing) ALL of which have been recognized by the US Chamber of Commerce as the "purest form of free enterprise". It is also recognized by many top Industry Leaders. Heck Donald Trump is an owner of one and endorses MLM...Same for Kiyosaki...who actually makes it part of his RichDad/PoorDad Game

    So while YES...Pyramid Schemes CAN disguise themselves as multi-level marketing, they would never FOOL the professional's in the business itself! And your comment about "only those at the top gaining any real benefits" is another lie! The biggest guy in Amway joined after it was 10 years old. I make more then MY own upline...and I have downline making MORE than me...and that is the way it should be...You get out of it...what you PUT into it. So for people willing to work it like a business...It Is and a Very Legitimate One! FTC is always looking for pyramid and gifting schemes...they are out there everywhere! Hurts the professionals in multi-level, too because they were fooled!

  3. Paul Girardin
    February 12, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Thanks for sharing these tips on what NOT to do!

    Monkeys (my Chinese sign) do learn new things every day!


  4. Akhil Kumar
    February 12, 2013 at 12:58 am

    How to get banned from makeuseof :P .....anyways, who would want that?

  5. Anonymous
    February 11, 2013 at 1:43 am

    It's pretty easy to get banned on Facebook. Simply express a sound, logical but unpopular opinion on a large public thread.

    Within ten minutes enough people will report you and you'll be banned -at least for a day or two. You'll have to log in to all your devices manually again.

    In fact, if say five or six people get together, they can keep you off facebook permanently by just reporting you.

    Don't bother with social networking anyway. They're forums for the uneducated masses. If you want to keep in touch with people, go visit them once in a while maybe?

  6. Rose Fisher
    February 10, 2013 at 7:47 am

    If only Faebook wasn't so moronic about it's nudity/pornography 'rules'. Misogyny rules throughout more like. At any given time you can find pornographic images and pages about raping women and paedophilia that will be kept up despite being reported. Yet breastfeeding photos (or art featuring breastfeeding!) get taken down and user accounts banned.
    And what about countries/places where non-sexual nudity is perfectly fine and accepted? No everyone must adhere to Facebook's law of the land where hyper sexualization, rape and exploitation are A-OK just heaven forbid if you show your body in a normal way! *sigh*

  7. JOE
    February 9, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Love your newsletters for the most part but I did have a problem with your comment of MLM being a nasty business There are pyramid schemes and then theres Multi Level Marketing which is big difference and in no way wrong or illegal everyone has the same chance to make it to the top as everyone else just depends on your efforts. I am actually very upset you need to change the wording to pyramid schemes not multi level marketing there is a big difference. I hope you correct yourself . I am not even in MLm but I am very familiar with it and know many good companies that are genuine.

    • Dave Parrack
      February 9, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      That section of the article has already been subtly changed to better reflect the truth of the situation.

  8. Carlos
    February 9, 2013 at 4:51 am

    Kanye West? Nope, Chuck Testa.

  9. Jan Hovancik
    February 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Well, this post is very bad. You are actually telling people to bully, threaten or post illegal stuff.

    Your post should be "Why people get banned on social networks" with citation of rules and not HOW-TO.

    Disappointed and surprised.

    • Dave Parrack
      February 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      That's patently untrue. I'm guessing you've read the title and perhaps just a few of the headers? If you read the third paragraph, any of the text underneath the headers, the final entry under Pinterest, and the conclusions, you'll see we're not encouraging people to break the rule at all.

      With respect you're reacting to something without fully understanding what you're reacting to.

      • Jan Hovancik
        February 7, 2013 at 10:52 pm

        Imagine someone read this and wanna try out and do some illegal stuff. He got banned and also sued. He would probably used/sued author of this article for his defense. People won much more ridicules cases anywhere in the world.

        • Dave Parrack
          February 8, 2013 at 12:31 am

          Everything included in the article is already publicly available -- follow the links to the Terms of Service for each site -- we've just presented a small portion of that information in a digestible manner. This means anyone could have seen how to get banned from any of the social networks featured well before this article was published.

  10. Pinky
    February 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Another way to booted from Facebook is to criticize aspects of Christianity. I've heard Zach might be an Atheist so I guess the booting is from the concerted efforts of Christians complaining.

    • Fancyflyer
      February 10, 2013 at 7:21 am

      Criticism on religious topics can get way out of hand in a hurry. It is reasonable for FB to discourage insults and derogatory statements that could escalate into blog war.

  11. Bruce Hamilton
    February 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I am disgusted in your shameful attack on MLM and referring to it as a Pyramid Scheme. MLM is legal, as per a US court decision decades ago, PS are not they hurt people. The fact you say there is a difference in these comments shows little thought went into that section of your original article. Whether you personally like or dislike MLM has no relevance, as a journalist, you are suppose to report facts.

    • Dave Parrack
      February 6, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      There's still a debate to be had about the legitimacy or otherwise of MLM. But this isn't the place to have that debate.

      The facts are that Facebook rather than myself drew parallels between the two, stating users are not allowed to “engage in unlawful multi-level marketing, such as a pyramid scheme.”

      That section of the article has been subtly changed to better present the facts.

  12. dragonmouth
    February 6, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    If I get banned by Facebook, will they delete all my data from their database. Or will they keep it to use "as they see fit"?

  13. Sri Vastav Reddy
    February 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    better to deactivate and Go to work ..

    • Dave Parrack
      February 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      That may be the case but social networking sites have their place... just don't get addicted.

  14. Ray Mcclain
    February 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    You can also get your account suspended for reasons that may not be clear to you. The only reason I got a Facebook account, was to enter contests. I got my account suspended, for 2 months, for entering contests.

  15. mike
    February 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I've found it too easy to get kicked off fbook. For whatever reasons they ask to confirm my ID, which is no huge deal if you've got a cell phone -- I'm mostly deaf, can't use one, don't have one. Jump through hoops sending photo ID etc. -- no results. It's happened a few times now.

  16. Bernard Winsemius
    February 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    For the note again.. Pyramid Scemes are definitely NOT multi level marketing!
    MLM is a legal business model with unexpected possibilities for a lot of people.
    Don't mix them up please. It's confusing ;-))

    • Dave Parrack
      February 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      As I said previously, Facebook is the one which referred to pyramid schemes as a form of MLM... "unlawful multi-level marketing, such as a pyramid scheme.”

      A quick search on Google suggests there's a debate over how different the two actually are.

  17. jmark
    February 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Another way to get banned from FaceBook is to create a page devoted to a politically incorrect viewpoint in FaceBook's view. For example ..a pro 2nd Amendment page.

    • Elizabeth
      February 6, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Or a "Zuck Sucks" page. Even though he does. :-)

  18. Daniel J. Karas
    February 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Another nice thing about LinkedIn is that you can send a message along with your request for a connection. This helps to refresh the connectee's memory as to how you know each other-casual meetings at a conference, for example, might be recalled by mentioning a topic of conversation, especially if it was memorable.

  19. Petey Pabler
    February 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I got banned from Myspace (remember that site?) because I was using scripts to remove all the ads and banners from my page. I also completely customized my page away from their standard format. I kept doing it with other accounts until they started harrassing me about altering their advertising and threatening to sue me, then I stopped...

    • Dave Parrack
      February 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      A threat to sue is usually enough to stop someone. I don't blame you for desisting.

  20. LS
    February 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    With respect, there is a BIG difference between pyramid schemes (illegal) and multi-level marketing (legal).

    • Daniel J. Karas
      February 6, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      I agree. MLM is a legitimate business model which combines capital, sales, staffing, and profit sharing (commissions) with little overhead. Pyramids are scams which the people at the bottom get little or no return ever on their investment of time, or in most cases, money.

    • Dave Parrack
      February 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      MLM may be legal but that doesn't mean it's morally right. Regardless, I was referring to Facebook's stance on it which says users must not "engage in unlawful multi-level marketing, such as a pyramid scheme."

    • dragonmouth
      February 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      "there is a BIG difference between pyramid schemes (illegal) and multi-level marketing (legal)."

      With respect, the difference is obvious only to lawyers and people running MLMs. To everybody else they are pretty much the same.

  21. Pianex Sobude
    February 6, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Regarding creating a page on Facebook. Is it really not allowed to create a fan page of an artist or anyone? Hmmmm...

    • Dave Parrack
      February 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

      A fan page, yes, but nothing official. As stated on the page guidelines -- -- " Only authorized representatives may administer a Page for a brand, entity (place or organization), or public figure. Any user may create a Page to express support for or interest in a brand, entity (place or organization), or public figure, provided that it is not likely to be confused with an official Page or violate someone's rights." I hope that helps.

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