Facebook is cracking down on those that violate its Terms of Service.

They are also doing so with Instagram. You’ve probably heard stories from people about their Instagram or Facebook Page disappearing. It is happening. It is real.

However, in 99.9% of the cases, it is entirely the fault of the person(s) managing those pages/accounts. You violated the TOS.

Facebook and Instagram allow you to use their platforms for free, you just have to abide by their rules. For years, they’ve been passive in warning or deleting accounts that violate their TOS. Those days are over.

The good news is that you can avoid getting your Facebook Page or Instagram account suspended or deleted. Simply follow the Terms of Services, and you’ll be fine.

This means, yes, you should actually sit down and read the TOS, especially if you’re managing a page on behalf of someone else or for a company.  Know the rules. Follow the rules.  Here is a link to the Terms of Services: https://www.facebook.com/terms.php

The TOS is a tough read. I get that.  Here are three violations, in plain English, that I see people making that lead to their pages and accounts being suspended or deleted:

1. Non Disclosure of a Partnership 

Bottom line, if you’re getting compensated in any way (cash or free goods/services), you need to disclose that in the post. Facebook has a partnership option, and you can select and tag the partner.  Violating this can not only get your page deleted but also lead to legal problems and/or a lawsuit from the FTC.  The FTC currently has several pending lawsuits against “Instagram Influencers” that did not disclose their partnership with the brands they were promoting.

2. Contests that Violate the TOS

Both Facebook and Instagram are clear on their rules for contests.  The most common violation I see is using others friends/connections as part of a contest.

Facebook TOS states: “Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions.”   This means you can not tell people to tag a friend or share a contest on their timeline.  You also can’t require that they follow or like your page/account, however you can ask them to take an action on the post itself, such as replying with a comment.

3. Spam – Tagging People in Photos They Aren’t In 

Bottom line, if the person or company is not in the photo, do not tag them.  This also includes not tagging people or pages in posts that are not about them simply as an effort to gain their attention.  Contrary to popular belief, that does not actually help the organic reach of a post and it could get your account suspended or deleted.

If you’ve read this and you’re not terrified that your account will get suspended or deleted, take a deep breath.

Facebook and Instagram, unless it is an egregious violation, will not delete your account without first warning you, usually multiple times.

If they do delete your account, they will provide an opportunity to appeal and often, even if you were in violation of the TOS, they’ll reinstate your account, with a final stern warning.

However, I suggest you avoid any possibilities of your account having any issues by simply reading and following the TOS. Sure, it might mean you have to stop doing a few of your favorite go-to tricks, but, as is the case in life, you’re better off doing the right thing. The right thing is to follow the Terms of Service.

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