If you're a fan of Social Media Today on Facebook, you probably noticed that we've been posting links more often than before. We've been trying to engage a bit better on this channel because of the great conversation it has been generating. Starting at the beginning of this month, we've been posting one hand-picked link in the morning and one in the evening. And we've gotten a great response.
But not from Facebook, apparently. Today, when trying to post a link in response to a post, we got the following message:
Block! You are engaging in behavior that may be considered annoying or abusive by other users.
You have been blocked from sharing web addresses (URLs) because you repeatedly misused this feature. This block will last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. When you are allowed to reuse this feature, please proceed with caution. Further misuse may result in your account being permanently disabled. For further information, please visit our FAQ page.
To understand this a little better, we did, in fact, visit the FAQ page:
Facebook has policies to stop behavior that other users may find annoying or abusive. Even if you did not have this intention, Facebook systems have determined that you were repeatedly using the same feature in a short period of time. Since you did not adhere to previous warnings, a temporary block was set on your account.
That's interesting. We've never received a warning before, either by email or on the screen. Also, fan pages are opt-in so if people find a practice annoying or abusive, they can leave the page and no harm done. We've been adding new fans like crazy which told us we were doing everything right. Guess not. Well, surely they'll explain what the problem was so we can correct our behavior.
Unfortunately, Facebook cannot provide any specifics on the rate limits that are enforced. The threshold at which you are warned is not a specific number, but rather determined by different factors, such as speed, time, and quantity.
It appears that this block is only affecting the ability to post links on the page, not regular status messages. To test it out (and push our luck by being even more "annoying and abusive"), we posted what happened and got some great feedback by some of our fans:
It is, as always, our desire to provide great content and promote social media thought-leaders through white-hat, above-the-board methods. We try very hard not to abuse the tools and the community that we have access to so this block comes as a big surprise. We have great feedback on the page, only post links twice a day, and we're adding fans rapidly. So what gives?
I wanted to understand this a little better so I did a little research. Here's what I found:
So, we're blocked from posting links, won't know when the block is lifted, will get penalized even more if we try, and might get blocked in the future, though we're not sure how to avoid this except, of course, not using the page.
Anyone have a similar story?