- Internet & the Web»
- Social Networking
Facebook Not Letting Me Comment
Facebook is a social network that people all over the world use for personal reasons and for business. Facebook usage has become so widespread that most people assume that you have a profile when you meet them.
Others expect your business to post information, business hours and products on a business Facebook page.
Even with its widespread use, Facebook has some issues. Anti-spam software put in place to stop people from placing unwanted comments or posts on multiple pages can sometimes trip up the average user, causing anywhere from a minor to major inconvenience.
One of the traps regular users seem to fall into is being blocked from making comments. Find out why it may happen and if there is anything that you can do about it.
How It Happened
I was on my phone one day using the mobile Facebook platform. I was discussing with a friend about the merits of some particular regulations regarding education. Because I didn't want to post a long wall of text in my comment block and I was on my phone, I broke my comments up into chunks that I posted one right after another.
And Bam! I was banned from posting comments and received the error message you see below.
I clicked on the link and filled out the textbox saying that I felt that my blocking was not warranted. The box indicated that the message would be reviewed by the Facebook team and that I may or may not hear from them.
So there I was, unable to comment. Nothing else was disabled.
I could still:
- Post to my own wall (just not comment on my posts)
- Send private messages
- Like others' posts and comments
I removed the comments from my friend's page just in case they had offended him (he assured me they had not and agreed that this was a misunderstanding on the Facebook mechanism.)
I had sprung an anti spam filter even though I wasn't spamming.
The Waiting Game
So now I have nothing to do but wait.
I have not heard back from Facebook nor has my ability to comment returned. In research, some say that their ban lasted 24 hours and some say they have been banned for weeks.
There are a few things that are unclear and the answers don't seem to be anywhere.
- Does trying to comment reset the ban?
- How will I know when I can comment again?
- How can I prevent this from happening to me again?
Could Have Major Consequences
While I mostly use Facebook for personal connections, I can imagine that this could cause long-term problems for someone trying to run a business or a message board on Facebook.
The inability to comment may be seen by the customers as a lack of caring or responsiveness.
The fact that it can be so easily triggered is worrisome. In researching this problem, I ran across multiple message boards where people have triggered this response for commenting on birthday posts, for example.
If you log onto your page and try to respond to multiple friends' well-wishes, you can suddenly find yourself unable to respond to anyone.
Isn't It a "Social" Network?
While anti-spam features are necessary, the fact that blocks and bans can come from simply using Facebook the way it was intended, for socializing, seems problematic. When legitimate users get blocked from certain features, they use the entire product less.
Their frustration grows.
As Facebook continues to fight for a foothold in a world of ever-increasing social media choices, it seems the frustration this features causes people should be noted.
A Warning First?
In wrestling with my phone application (which isn't the easiest application to use) I never thought about my multiple comments being problematic or suspicious. If a warning box had popped up and let me know that my activity was triggering anti-spam filters, I would have stopped immediately and figured out a better way to post my comments.
Facebook Has Both Good and Bad
Facebook faces much criticism from both users and non-users. But there is a lot of good to the platform as well.
I not only use Facebook to connect with family and friends around the world, I also use it to keep up with events, businesses and my family's activities. Friends send me invitations over Facebook and post information that is important to me.
Because Facebook has become such a critical component in people's lives, problems like these should be handled quickly or more explanation should be available for a user, like me, with no bad intentions, who accidentally triggers a response such as the one I am facing.
I hope that my full usage ability of Facebook returns. While parts of this banning will likely remain a mystery for me, next time I will just keep my comments short and not post them in succession.
Hopefully I don't accidentally trigger any further blocking mechanisms.
Update: The commenting ban was lifted after 24 hours. I did not receive any communication from Facebook so it may have all been automated. What is your experience?