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As posted on Facebook, Feb. 18, 2013:
Facebook Jail

Netlore Archive: Viral postings advise Facebook users against clicking the 'Not Now' button when receiving friend requests to avoid sending the requesting member to 'Facebook Jail.'

Via Facebook

Description: Viral warning
Circulating since: Feb. 2013
Status: Partly true / Exaggerated (see details below)


Full text:
As posted on Facebook, Feb. 18, 2013:

Face Book Jail!

EVERYONE needs to know how to avoid sending someone to Face Book Jail/Detention regarding FRIEND REQUESTS! If you do not want to accept a friend request, DO NOT CLICK ANYTHING! Just ignore it. Here is a little information on adding friends which could explain why some people are getting reported.

Nice people are getting banned by Face Book and it could happen to you, too. The reason is because when you get a friend request, if you click the "Not Now" button, you will automatically receive a request from Face Book asking, "Do you know this person?" If you click on "No," that person will automatically be suspended from group chats, blocked from sending friend requests and other things for 7-30 days.

And, if it happens enough times, the person will be blocked from Face Book PERMANENTLY. So, PLEASE - if you get an unwanted friend request you do not want, ignore it - that is what I do. If you accidentally accept, then delete the person. if you accidentally click the "Not Now" button, then ignore the request from Face Book asking if you know them - DO NOT respond to it.

Please pass this around so we can protect our friends (and ourselves!) Thank you. NO ONE wants to go to Face Book Jail!


Analysis: While there's a grain of truth to this warning, it's overblown and misstates certain critical facts.

According to Facebook's Help Center, an account can be temporarily blocked from sending friend requests if it has a track record of rejected or unanswered requests. The same account may also be temporarily blocked from sending messages to non-friends.

Please note that such a block is 1) temporary, and 2) only applies to new friend requests and/or sending messages to members who aren't confirmed friends. The blocked member will not be prevented from participating in group chats or any other normal Facebook activities, nor will a temporary block lead to that member being "banned" or "blocked from Facebook permanently."

Note, too, that the above message is in error when it advises members to ignore requests instead of clicking "Not Now." A block may still be placed on an account if there are too many ignored friend requests.

Lastly, this viral warning places the onus on the wrong party — i.e., the recipient. It's up to the sender to be judicious about issuing friend requests. Facebook says: "From now on, please don’t send friend requests to people you don’t know personally. Facebook is a place for connecting with friends, family, classmates, coworkers and other people you know well."


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Sources and further reading:

Friend Request Block
Facebook Help Center

Why Am I Blocked from Sending Friend Requests?
Facebook Help Center

Why Am I Blocked from Sending Messages?
Facebook Help Center

Facebook Community Standards
Facebook Help Center


Last updated 03/01/13

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