How to get banned from Facebook

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London - Want to be a productive individual again? Need to get kicked off Facebook? Then here’s exactly what to post.

From nudity to name changes, the giant social media site has quite a few rules about what can and cannot be uploaded on to its users’ profiles. And with nearly 955 million users to keep tabs on, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Facebook takes its rules pretty seriously.

In some cases, the terms of service put in place were obviously implemented to protect users from violating privacy (or embarrassing their highly-photographed children in the future). But in other instances, Facebook’s policies can seem downright ridiculous.

Flip through the list to see what posts and behaviours can easily get you kicked off of Facebook.

Facebook might ban you if you:

1 Show yourself breastfeeding

This mommy controversy has long plagued Facebook, as the company states there can be no nudity in its terms of service.

But parents argue there’s a line between “inappropriate” and “legitimate” images. Emma Kwasnica is a breastfeeding advocate who often posts pictures of herself nursing, and as a result her account has been suspended five times. Kwasnica and other mothers even protested about the issue at Facebook headquarters during National Breastfeeding Week.

2 Pretend to be the Zuck

Apparently there can be only one Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook.

According to PC Mag, last year Mark S Zuckerberg was kicked off Facebook because of identity fraud. But this lawyer from Indiana had other Facebook woes before his restricted account: because of the similarity of his name to the ever-fascinating CEO, he was receiving nearly 500 friend requests a day. Eventually, after making a few headlines, Facebook apologised and the lawyer regained access to his account.

3 Share names with a celeb

Selena Gomez was recently banned from Facebook. But it wasn’t the Disney superstar who’s been prohibited from uploading her latest pics; it was just a regular girl, TMZ reported.

One day Selena Miranda Gomez from New Mexico attempted to access her Facebook account and found she was unable to log in because the social networking site believed she was impersonating the actress, which is against the company’s policy. At the time of publication, it was not clear whether Gomez’s account had been reactivated.

4 Set up a profile under your famous pseudonym

Salman Rushdie, who penned titles such as Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses, had his Facebook account suspended last year because of what Facebook perceived to be a name discrepancy. While Rushdie’s first name is Ahmed, the world knows him by his middle name, Salman. The social network told the author that he wold have to use his first name on his profile.

“Dear #Facebook, forcing me to change my FB name from Salman to Ahmed Rushdie is like forcing J Edgar to become John Hoover,” Rushdie sounded off on his Twitter account following the incident. Facebook later restored his profile.

5 Co-ordinate hack attacks

Operation Payback was a plot from the infamous hacker group Anonymous to take down Visa’s website after the credit card company cut off donations to Wikileaks. Hackers gathered on both Facebook and Twitter to plan and promote an attack, causing their accounts to be suspended on the social networking sites, according to ZDNet.

6 Take odd pics of your kids

Lauren Ferrari was banned from Facebook for seven days after she posted a photo of her five-year-old pretending to nurse her younger sibling. While Ferrari didn’t think much of the image when she uploaded it, both Facebook and the police found the photo to be problematic. The Seattle Police Department said her actions showed poor parenting, which sparked an online controversy about what should and should not be put online.

7 Spam your ‘friends’

Adam Guerbuez was fined $873 million (R7.5bn) after sending out more than 4 million spam messages about penis-enlargements, porn and marijuana, according to PC World. This behaviour got Guerbuez kicked off Facebook and caused him to file for bankruptcy in 2010.

8 Pretend you’re over 13 when you’re not

Last year Facebook’s chief privacy adviser said an average of 20 000 underage Facebook user accounts were shut down each day. The social networking site has a strict policy stating that only those over the age of 13 are allowed to maintain a personal profile.

9 Add script or code to the site

“Hello, our systems indicate that you’ve been highly active on Facebook lately and viewing pages at a quick enough rate that we suspect you may be running an automated script.”

How would you like to get that e-mail from Facebook? That’s exactly what happened to tech-blogger Robert Scoble.

Apparently he had added an address book importer to his Facebook account, but any additional script whatsoever just doesn’t fly with this social media site. His account was restored after he “made a public stink” about the ordeal online. – The Independent

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