Facebook Booted Me for Having 5000 Friends!

Posted on January 23, 2009 10:36 AM by Joel Comm

I've been a fan of Facebook for a couple years. I think it's a great way to network with others and build your business.

I've used the site create my own groups, build a fan page, post videos, interact with family, friends and fans, and basically enjoyed its functionality.

I've always abided by their terms of service, even though thousands of people break the rules every day.

I'm a credible marketer with a 15-year history on the web. I've built dozens of sites, written best-sellers, speak all over the world and am respected in the industry. I've even written a 30-page report on how to use Facebook for business.

So what happened?

This morning, I logged into my account and was greeted by this message.

fb1.png

What?

You have GOT to be kidding me.

Here's what happened...

I reached my 5000 friend limit on the site.

When that happens, people can still make friend requests of you, but they are told that the user has reached his or her limit.

On my end, I see the friend request as usual and I approve them as spots open up.

Should I ignore the people who have made requests while they wait for approval?

Or should I communicate with them and tell them other ways in which they can interact with me?

I choose the latter.

One by one, I've been going through the friend requests and clicking the link that says "Send a message" which appears directly next to the approve and decline buttons.

My messages have been different for each user. I often try to personalize based on their own profile or any previous encounters we have had.

A typical message would say...

Thanks for the request! I've reached my 5000 friend limit on Facebook, but you can follow me on my fan page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Joel-Comm/9907159309?ref=s

Hope to see you there!

Or another message might say...

hiya! I'm glad you had the opportunity to see me speak at Harv Eker's event. I'm at my Facebook friend limit, but visit my blog and you can stay up to date on my activities. http://www.joelcomm.com

An admin at Facebook apparantly decided that I was SPAMMING people who had REQUESTED contact with me!

I contacted no more than thirty people who had made a friend request. What am I supposed to do? Just be rude and leave them hanging?

If I had done something wrong, I should have received a warning. The fact that I was trying to use Facebook as intended should not be a cause for suspension.

This should make anyone who is serious about using Facebook a little gunshy.

Apparantly, my "Friends of Joel Comm" page and "Joel Comm" fan page remains in tact.

fb2.png

fb3.png

I have appealed to Facebook to reinstate my account. They also need to revisit their "shoot first, ask questions later" suspension policy. I'm just a bit offended that some lacky without common sense can push the "off" button on my account when I have worked so hard to build it.

What happens next?

It's in Facebook's hands.

But be warned. If you have over 5000 friends, don't even THINK about corresponding with anyone else that wants to friend you.

Do the right thing, Facebook. Reinstate my account, please.

1/24/2009 - Robert Scoble interviewed me about my Facebook trials. Read the article here

1/26/2009 - I'm back on Facebook! Read all about it

151 Comments For This Post

  1. David Preston Says:

    That's just crazy Joel!

    I agree though, I'm going to have
    to "re-align" my thoughts about a
    serious facebook push.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Hope it works out and they come to
    their senses.

    Davdi

  2. Debra Says:

    Thanks for the warning. Facebook needs to rethink a few things. You have a great Facebook page and following, why should you (or anyone else) be punished for being popular?

  3. Adam Bshero Says:

    That is a load of crap. I would be trying to call every number I found concerning facebook service.

    I hope for the best for you and that they reinstate your account.

    Good Luck!

  4. Kirsten Winkler Says:

    They should be happy that people like you use facebook. I mean they allow thousands of fake celebrity accounts and when they have a real one, they ban him just because he is popular?! Come on!

  5. Bags Says:

    Oh snap! That's lame sauce. I'm sorry for your loss. (That's what we're supposed to say in a situation like this, right?)

    I love that you don't have enough room for your friends on Facebook, and I'm sacrificing mine for a Whopper. The irony is thick and juicy.

  6. Henry Griner Says:

    As one of the big advocates of Facebook I can't understand why they did this to you Joel. That is a bad decision on their part.

    It may have been triggered by a system setting, as a former IT Mgr I know how those work, but someone set that policy if it was a system trigger.

    OK Facebook, time to work on your program and policies here. OPEN UP JOEL'S ACCOUNT! He is not a bad guy.

    Henry Griner
    http://whoishenry.com

    P.S. I will re-post this to my blog. Others should follow too.

  7. Jerry Holliday Says:

    Joel

    What a n'mare! - FB are infamous for this.

    It also re-inforces the point that maybe we should all think about getting our people 'the hell offer the social networks' and onto our 'own platform'

    Jerry

  8. Barbara Roemer Says:

    Joel ~ Sorry to hear that you are Facebook's most recent casualty and hope it isn't 'terminal'. I totally agree that FB needs to readdress the 'shoot first, ask questions later' policy. Perhaps their growth this past year has pushed them beyond the ability to provide common sense customer service. Wonder how long we'll have to wait for them to catch up?

    As a social networking site that is all about communication, FB needs to improve theirs. Keep us updated on your reinstatement request. Wonder how long it will take?

    Barbara

  9. Danny Chiarelli Says:

    Joel quit being a trouble maker and you won't have these problems.

    I do see the fun and value in FB, but what happened in the past for them to be restrictive?

    I was on FaceBook when they did their partnership with CNN for the inauguration of what's his name... and the site ran smooth all day long. They obviously have the technical side down.

    5000 friends doesn't sound like a lot these day's - I have only scratched the surface and would love to have this problem, and unlike you I don't cause problems... J/K

    Have fun Joel
    - Danny

  10. David King Says:

    wow...

    that's no fun!

    I have had facebook and myspace accounts canceled before and it is no fun... that's for sure!

    did you get those questions i messaged you in facebook yesterday?

    I would love to still promote your book to my fb group of 1,600 +

    just email me if you are interested in me doing that for ya!

    Thanks Joel!

    I hope they reinstate it...


    David

  11. Alan Bechtold Says:

    Joel --

    Can't believe it. Simply totally stupid on FaceBook's part. Wish I knew a few choice numbers for you to call.

    If ANYONE understands spam and how to avoid sending it, it has to be you. They should come to their senses FAST or face the consequences of your pulling off FaceBook altogether.

  12. Andy Catsimanes Says:

    I'm sure this will get straightened out. In the meantime don't let the (Face)Man get you down.

    Power to the people!

  13. Marc David Says:

    Joel,

    Once again I'm reminded of a few things:

    1) Backup my data
    2) Don't put all your eggs in one basket

    Think of it this way, if 100% of your focus and activity was on Facebook. You're making good contacts and decent money and then the doors shut. For no reason and maybe your appeal falls on deaf ears.

    A great business can be dead overnight without reason.

    I've noticed this situation with a few people. If you send out to many Happy Birthday notes you can be banned or be deactivated.

    I'm sure your appeal will be heard and the ban lifted!

  14. Steve Says:

    It's a conspiracy because you're conservative and Facebook's #1 goal for existance was to elect Obama as President. :-)

  15. FRANK ABRAMS Says:

    IN CAPS SO PEOPLE WILL PAY ATTENTION. FACEBOOK IS NOT A GOOD PLACE TO BUILD A BUSINESS. PERIOD. I HAD A HUGELY SUCCESSFUL FAN PAGE FOR SINATRA, WITH OVER 100,000 FANS THAT GOT CUT OFF WITHOUT EXPLANATION. HOW MANY STORIES DO YOU NEED TO HEAR TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE BEST APPROACH IS TO CAPTURE TRAFFIC AND EMAILS AND GET IT OFF OF FACEBOOK IN AS FEW CLICKS AS POSSIBLE. THEY ARE NOT BUSINESSLIKE AND CONSTANTLY ABUSE THEIR BIGGEST SUPPORTERS AND TOP INFLUENCERS. FACEBOOK'S ANSWER TO OVER 5000 CONTACTS... GO BUILD A FAN PAGE - JUST WATCH THEM DELETE THAT TOO ON A WHIM. CAUTION.

  16. Mark Gilbert Says:

    I'm with ya man. I've had similar problems. They deleted Vern Cornfield's account, and even after appeal, just sent me back some "copy & paste" jargon that a human clone could have replied back with. They also deleted videos that had absolutely NOTHING wrong, as far as content, and when asked why, I got the same "copy and paste" from their policies.

    I'm convince that they have mindless high school kids in this department who are told to abide by some strict rule. They don't have to think that way.

    Either that, or it could be what Steve said! lol ...BTW, that's why I have stopped adding friends at 4,750. I don't even want to get close to the 5,000 limit, in fear of having to deal with another mindless FB clone :-(

  17. Clay Franklin Says:

    Let me know if there is anything you want me to do to help you like signing a petition.

    I have heard of many stories like this and I wonder if you have plans to create a more user freindly social media platform.

    Hope it gets reinstated today.

  18. Jeanette Says:

    Oh Joel,

    Why don't you get together with a couple of your buddies and buy Facebook? I'm so tired of hearing this happen to my friends.

    Happy 2009,
    Jeanette

  19. Robert Robbins Says:

    Hi Joel,
    As you well know, we are given these speed bumps or challenges as opportunity for growth in our lives / business... What is your opportunity to expand or grow in this situation? Big fan, keep up the good work! Robby

  20. Steve Driscoll Says:

    Joel - Lame, lame, lame! I ran into a similar situation with a trigger happy Administrator at AT&T.; I called for one reason, they (mistakingly) concluded something completely different and POOF (!), my internet access was down for 5 hours!!!!! No apologies or adjustment to the bill. Just tons of attitude from those with the power button at their disposal.

    I wonder if / when I'm going to run into a similar problem with LinkedIn. I try to be respectful and obey the rules but it's really a matter of time.

    Good luck!

    Cheers,

    Steve

  21. John Sullivan Says:

    I told you you should of went with Obama :)
    on the serious I do think you should DEFINITELY be reinstated :)
    I was just looking on FB for a place to email to show some support.
    Stumbled

  22. David Says:

    Hey man,

    Just email disabled@facebook.com, with an explanation. They will take a look and re-enable your account.

  23. Robb Auspitz Says:

    Considering how many other FB horror stories I've seen and heard this actually doesn't surprise me at all. If FB wants to continue to grow and prosper they need to clarify and publish their rules and regulations. They need to make their rules and regulations reasonably specific then they need to hire reasonable, intelligent people to administer these rules. I've been involved in IT for well over 25 years and I've seen a lot of companies come from out of nowhere, get hot, get stupidly complacent and arrogant with their customers, then get blown out of the water by someone smarter. Anyone remember dBase and Lotus? It could happen just as easily to FB if they don't figure it out.

  24. John Collins Says:

    Hi Joel -

    I'm on facebook. Just joined a short time ago. I've seen people say a few times that you can only contact 20 people a day to stay under the radar.

    I'm still trying to find my way around. It's not the easiest place to hunt down info when you want it. Even If you found it once before. They need better site navigation.

    John

  25. Travis Greenlee Says:

    Yep, I've been booted from fb for simply mailing to several of MY groups with the same message. I had been doing it since becoming involved with fb with no problems at all. No harm, no fault as they were the groups that I created and all of our members opted in. I didn't overly promote a product or service, simply sending my weekly free training vids.

    And without warning, boom. Took me 10 days for fb to bring me back up. Then after all of that, they STILL couldn't tell me why they booted me.

    All I can say is... be careful! FB is trigger happy with their bots.

    A great place to meet people, however has become a challenging place to do business.

    Sending you lots of luv and positive energy Joel. Hopefully you'll be back up in no time.

    Lastly, to support you in being more effective on facebook, I've created a free video training series. I'd highly recommend checking it out. Will save you lots of time, money, and frustration.

    http://FacebookMadeEasy.com

    Ennjoy!

    t

  26. Rajinder S Bedi Says:

    I have about 1500 friends. Long way to reach 5000 limit. Your case is shocking. I will have to be careful. Already FB have been nudging me every now and then with that threat of locking my account, allegedly my behaviour in contacting friends is objectionable. Even when someone sent a request to add him as a member, I am blamed for that.

    By the way, they have already barred me from taking any more Group membership as I crossed the limit of 300 Groups.

    By a collective action of the FB community, we may pressurise them to change their policies on these two points.

  27. Jeanie Dotson Says:

    Creating a Fan Page (Facebook page) seems to be the answer. You can have unlimited Fans and invite everyone to be a Fan, even those that are your friends. I was reading more about creating the Fan Page and found there are good reasons to have one for promoting your brand, product and/or business purposes. Mari Smith says that they are great for all types of businesses. You can create as many as you like. Also, your Facebook page will go to work for you as far as SEO.
    A great 2009~

  28. Mari Smith Says:

    Joel,

    Wow, that's unfortunate about your Facebook account - I'm sure you'll be live again in no time! Interestingly enough, I was utilizing the exact same strategy of messaging pending Facebook friend requests beyond the 5k to invite them to follow me on Twitter and/or join my Fan Page. Then a buddy had their account deactivated for messaging non-friends - so I immediately stopped. Dang it, wish I'd spoken with you before your account went down. :|

    Last week at the Affiliate Summit, where I also met with you (yay!), several of Facebook's team were in a session about advertising on Facebook. I spoke directly with the Director of Online Operations about the deactivation issue - he explained Facebook would rather have their rules tighter and catch innocent peeps than have it too lax and have real spammers abusing the platform. Thing is, it's not a real person at first - it's their algorithms and bots that trigger your account for any number of reasons.

    Best thing is to remain positive and patient, as frustrating as it is. I blogged about Facebook account deactivation here: http://whyfacebook.com/2008/12/22/facebook-account-deactivation-can-it-be-avoided/

    If there's anything I can do to support you, I certainly will.

    Cheers,
    @marismith

  29. Peter Koning Says:

    I wouldn't get too worried. It's probably an oversight as they've been getting all sorts of spammer issues lately.

    You should be back in no time if you can get them on the phone - try one of the reps that was at ASW09.

    A fan page is a good idea for the long term - FB should make it so that friend requests are auto responded to.

    Anyway, I'll still be your friend :)

  30. Alec Saunders Says:

    Hey Joel,

    Some of my friends have had good luck emailing sales-support@facebook.com in these circumstances.

    Good luck!

    A

  31. Watch for the Greys Says:

    Yikes.
    I am sorry sir, you can only have 5000 friends. You will be too powerful if you have more.
    Oh, and by the way we will still shove hundreds of new apps down your throat daily, most of them nit fully checked out. (Hey we are busy watching you!)
    Oh, and you better click on our ad links a minimum of 23 times a day or you will be in trouble.
    Oh, and NO nipples. Just about anything else is OK, but we are really sensitive about moms breast feeding.
    Oh, and we may invoke that 1 child per family rule, too.
    Oh, and be sure to be confused when you are in an app and click on that spammy statement that '4 of your friends think you are ugly' or 'you have 2 marriage proposals'. We want you to be psychologically affected by our innuendos and thereby in control of your fragile mind.
    Oh and we know everything about you in our data silos, so please pay the upcoming monthly FB subscription fee of $15.99 or we may 'sell' your data to the highest bidder on our new sister site face-bay.

    Be careful.
    Be discreet.
    Be someone else.

    And re-instate Joel!


  32. Sandi Says:

    Joel;

    I think this is such a shame! You bring character to Facebook. Your messages are always worthwhile.

    They need to reinstate you. I will still continue to follow you in other avenues until the situation is cleared up.

  33. Dave Kerpen Says:

    Your account should and will be reinstated by Facebook. They have bots that suspend account when mass messaging occurs, to avoid spam, but always fix issues when they arise. In the meantime, the solution is to
    build (or this case, grow) your Fan Page. That's what Fan Pages are for.
    With all due respect, you don't have 5,000 friends, Joel. Neither do I and neither does anyone. You can have 5,000,000 followers on Twitter.
    Followers are not friends.
    Similarly, you can have 5,000,000 fans on Facebook.
    Fans are not friends.
    That's what fan Pages are set up for.
    Here is an article I wrote on the differences:
    http://tinyurl.com/ProfilesvGroupsvPages
    Hope this helps!

    Best, @DaveKerpen

  34. Nicod3mus Says:

    I doubt this will last.....I am betting it's reinstated by mid week.

  35. Maryam Webster Says:

    CRM FAIL = "Facebook, yer doin' it wrong!"

    Joel, you pump out great content. Have enjoyed you for ages, keep it up!

    And I feel your pain. I had the exact same thing happen to me, but not for friend overload...for no reason whatsoever. I was pointed to the TOS, vigorously protested my innocence, as I'd spent two years building my former FB profile, always followed the rules and had over 900 friends that to date, are now lost. A friend that works with FB even went to bat with no result.

    I'm rebuilding, but without the same loyalty to FB as I once had. Can you say "CRM Fail"?

    My only reply, after weeks of asking, was from an employee that postulated that I had something "obscene" posted to my account. Obscene? ME? I'm a credible businesswoman, psychologist and training center director with a proven track record of value. "Obscene" was a shocker.

    Another employee encounter said "You used your own name for your company. You can't do that, that's spam.". My company name is The Maryam Webster Group LLC. Kind of hard to avoid using my own name. And company name = spam? Who's driving the bus here?

    As Bags posted above, lame sauce. Frank Abrams may be right. CRM fail.

    My current strategy is to copy my list of friends and anything worthwhile they are posting/inbox emails to a file every few days. And keep a weather eye out as my stats prof in college quipped, expecting that past performance predicts best.

  36. Russell Says:

    Hey Joel - the problem is that you communicate and receive communication - and then don't clear out your inbox and sent box. The jackass-in-charge of suspending people's account certainly needs to be deep-sixed, but they've been suspending people's accounts for absolutely nothing, then just give any old reason. It's like this: one person just has to report your account for anything - even a total lie - and FB will very likely suspend or remove your account. It's outrageous. I am searching for another social network - one that let's you be social - that has similar cool stuff (apps), but there isn't one. I hate the FB staff jackass who terminates or suspends accounts, I hate that FB has become as slow as MySpace, but I love three of the apps.

    I am really sorry to hear that they'd do this to you, though, Joel. When you get your account re-activated/unsuspended/whatever, try keeping your Comm-box (inbox/sentbox) LOL :) -- as clean as possible. It's worked for me and hundreds of others that I know. Heck, we don't even get the "pink slips" any more for sending communication to non-friends. Yeah, apparently their system is based on "points" or sending out messages to folks who are not your friends. Send out enough of those, and BAM! You're disabled/suspended/DOA without notice. It's not very dissimilar to having your head blown off with a .50 cal sniper round. LOL :) No warning and POOF! You're gone.

  37. Henrik Blunck Says:

    Hi Joel

    Thanks for the warning. Although currently only at approx. 200 friends - a 120% increase since I began using Facebook regularly, it is important to be forewarned. It seems almost ridiculous that a 5,000 limit was set given the fact that internet users amount to about 1,3 billion users worldwide...

    We will, as always, wait for things to settle and appreciate your straight forward explanations. :-)

    Warm greetings

    Henrik V Blunck
    www.xr.com/henrik

  38. Joshua Sloan Says:

    sorry to hear about the "FaceBlock".

    Funny that FB wants people to make friends, just not too many of them. What's next? Getting banned for not having the "right kind" of friends?

  39. Scot McKay Says:

    Something similar happened to me. Then I discovered Twitter.

    Cheers,

    Scot McKay

  40. Gary W. Longsine Says:

    FaceBook has a number of annoying qualities, some mentioned by others here. The characteristic that really intrigues me lately, though, is that the central "communication" mechanism that FaceBook is built around almost strictly enforces shallow, trivial conversation. It's a great forum for starting a discussion, and a sort of almost OK forum for sharing a link, but a lousy forum for having a discussion about an idea. Blog comments are better, and that's not a very high bar.

  41. Shannon D. Denniston Says:

    I feel your frustration buddy, they disabled my account on January 12th. I sent them an email a day every day for 9 straight days and spoke with them by phone twice. On January 21st, nine days later, they re-enabled my account. I had actually logged into my MySpace account it was so bad. ;-)

    I sent 12 "thank you" emails to people who requested my friendship (to only those who had sent me a personal message along with their friend request). I received a pop-up warning after sending the 12th message so I ceased doing that immediately. I then proceeded to my FB in-box to reply to messages and while replying to the 2nd message in the list, I received the pop-up warning again and shortly thereafter (as in a few minutes later), my account was disabled. They disabled my account because I replied to a message I received from one of my friends on their site... not a very wise way to use an abuse prevention filter IMO.

    Despite what people may think, Facebook is NOT business friendly. They are in the entertainment and advertising industries and do not appreciate others trying to ride their coattails. If they find that you are using your account for business, it WILL get zapped, be warned. Same for groups, do NOT use Facebook for business in any way shape or form because any success you attain from doing so will be built upon sand and will soon be washed away.

    Here's a few highlights of their email to me on January 21st...

    "Facebook has limits in place to prevent behavior that other users may find annoying or abusive. Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with the specific rates that have been deemed abusive. While using the message feature, keep in mind that it's possible to run into a block based on how many messages you send and how fast you send them. It's also possible to be blocked when either starting a new message thread or replying to a message. Please be aware that if your account is disabled again, we will not be able to reactivate it."

    How nice it must be to have so much control and influence over others. Won't be long now before the government steps in and JV's with them... they have collected more data about more people than any other company/organization in history and all in record time. Couple this with the government archiving each and every phone call, text message and email you transmit and you'll start to see things from a different perspective.

    My advice to you and everyone reading this is to use Facebook strictly for fun through creating new friendships. Keep all business off Facebook and restrained to regular communication channels like phone and email. Facebook has burned a lot of bridges and will continue to burn more until they re-evaluate their business model, I for one will no longer be endorsing them to my clients.

  42. Wiebs Says:

    Wow. I'm not sure what FB hopes to accomplish with a policy like this. Drive people away? Guess us business types will have to construct our own book, and communicate away faithful to each other.

  43. Joshua Sloan Says:

    Sorry to hear about the "FaceBlock".

    I tought FB was all about making frineds. Sad that they set a limit. What's next, getting banned for not having the "right kind" of friends?

  44. Marco Montez Says:

    Wow, second time I hear about something like this. Also, someone was telling me today that FBs fineprint basically states that they own anything you do on it. Meaning that they can take your pictures, statements, etc. etc. and do whatever they want with it. THIS IS NOT GOOD. With that said... what I see here is an opportunity for another social network like facebook to be launched, but with a business friendly approach and that treats people with a little more respect.

  45. Fred Says:

    Sorry to say that Facebook is free and with all free services, you have no control over anything. If you are using it as your primary way of doing business, which I know that you aren't Joel, then you are making a mistake. This is no different than if you are a successful blogger making a living off of one of the free blog services, you are asking for trouble.

    It comes down to the simple point that Facebook can interpret their policies the way they see fit. They are the ones with skin in the game, no one else. Use it as a tool in your arsenal, that's it. If its your only tool or one of few, you are in trouble. . .

  46. ocha Says:

    Let's see...5000 friends means they are seeing ads which create revenue which pays for the FB site. Even if they don't want the money, it's gravy. Not much busniess savy that I can see from kicking you off.

  47. Art Jonak Says:

    Joel,

    Wow. I feel your pain.

    I have over 350 pending friend requests, but have to ingore them. I'm at my 5000 limit. Some of those pending friends are literally sending me messages saying I'm being rude by not contacting them. I want to, but can't for fear of Facebook Admin.

    All I want to do, just like you, is tell them -- "Look, I reached my 5000 friends limit. I'd love to stay connected. I've set up a Fan page (as strange as that seems to me). Here's link. Thank you for your understanding."

    But there is no way to communicate this simply message to those fried requests.

    Yes, Facebook NEEDS to address this. Or they may seem a migration of their biggest influencers. That's not a win/win for anyone.

    Thank you for keeping up updated. Should you need an assist of any sort, holler.

    -Art Jonak
    @artjonak

  48. Matthew Loop Says:

    Man, the Facebook gestapo is in full effect now. Logic and reason are out the window it appears when it comes to canning accounts. Kicking credible people off the site may eventually lead to a backlash and hurt their bottom line if they're not careful.

    Hopefully there support team is better than YouTube's where you don't get a response at all.

    Continued success :)

  49. Brenda Heisler Says:

    Sorry you lost your FB account after reaching the limit. Wow!! You and Mari Smith and Problogger all in about the same timeframe. It's a problem I'll never have to worry about, but I do feel your pain.

    What's wrong with a warning? Can't they do that?

    I give you points for trying to do the right thing for your readers. Sorry that didn't turn out well for you. Seems like you couldn't win for trying.

    Let's just hope your account is reinstated. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Please keep us informed.

  50. Carl Says:

    That is insane! I noticed that you had mysteriously dropped off FB. They appear to be growing too fast, and are acting like ebay did years ago Maybe sanity will prevail.

  51. Brandon Says:

    I agree with you Joel. For Facebook to suspend your account for sending a polite reply to people wishing to be your friends is ridiculous.

    To be honest I think you deserve an award for being such an avid user of facebook with so many friends! not being banned! Facebook should be ashamed for banning such a credible member such as yourself.

  52. Jordy Says:

    That's very unsettling Joel. Connecting with so many people in one place took a tremendous effort on your part.

    This is a good lesson about Facebook that can be expanded into other arenas on the Internet. The first thing I began to think of is how a friend of mine built a rather profitable income stream from a huge name in PPC advertising. One day, just like you, he got a notice that his account was terminated. I know he had invested thousands of hours of his life into seeding his sites with the banners and then one split second email wrecked his empire.

    They said he was breaking the rules.

    Spammers have made it difficult for those of us who do our best to play by the rules.

    I hope that Facebook reinstates your account. If not, maybe you could start a new website called, "The Internet Court" and turn your disappoint into a success.

  53. Dantanner Says:

    I have repeated this over and over again on twitter and elsewhere.

    FACEBOOK or TWITTER or any such platform where you hang your life, is not yours. You don't have creative common rights. IF these entities go under, go belly up, or if they simply cancel your account one day, you have no rights whatsoever! You are out the door on the pavement in the middle of nowhere.

    Only thing you can be sure of where you own intellectual rights to the property

    Have I been banned? Oh yes many times and many places. I have learned never to be foolish again and move on.

  54. Russ Says:

    Makes a lot of sense for them to remove quality content and leave the crap pages online. I did not know about the limit and appreciate the heads up!

  55. Chad Flick Says:

    Hey Joel,
    That is crazy, and I have actually had warnings that my account could be disabled and I only have like 550 friends. I have 2 groups. I was not spamming them. Matter of fact now the only links I'll ever share is in the share links app and on occaision in my update status. So like you said people using FB should be "GunShy".

    I hope they do the right thing too and reinstate your account!

  56. Travis Campbell Says:

    Joel-

    Glad your Group and Fan page is still in tact. Thank you for sharing this here on your blog, I have learned a lot from it already. It sounds like if you get the attention of the right people (not bots) at Facebook they should correct the issue.

    I trust you'll keep us posted on this (others who reached the 5K limit and were later banned did not).

  57. Marian Says:

    Hi Joel,

    it's a pity when someone who's absolutely honestly building his own presence with Facebook gets shut down!

    I hope it'll soon be reinstated!

    Marian

  58. Holly Powell Says:

    hmmm, sounds like us marketers need to find a site that allows social interaction with no friend limitations. Any takers?

  59. Robert Phillips Says:

    Hi Joel

    I can see the problem right off the bat.

    If your using the same message or doing alot of action on a single day your account will be deleted.

    Facebook as built in alot of fail safes and filters making it harder for people that maybe spamming.

    Not saying your are but I try and limit my actions to 30-50 a day.

    More then that daily you are almost guaranteed your account gets deleted.

    Actions included inviting , messaging , posting to walls and ect.

    Be careful as you can image with all the work you put in can be lost in a day.

    Robert Phillips

  60. Joe Jablonski Says:

    Who gives an iFart?

    LOL

    ~ Love ya Joel

    ~ Joe Jablonski

  61. Heatherton Says:

    Facebook has some serious flaws to it. It is like they are being run by kids that were bullied and are now bullying back. I had a thriving page over there under my stage pseudonym which is what most people (sans close friends & family)and they pulled a similar stunt with me. Yet I see the silly little Angsty Emo fake names on some profiles but they don't have the amount of friends I had either. I now only use it for friends and family and have it completely private.

    They are pulling the same thing as myspace, where you are allowed to sign up but not really able to interact. I know that is why many people moved over to FB and now they are pulling this.

    I wonder if they have an app to shut themselves up. lol

    They will be their own downfall.

  62. Frank Says:

    A similar thing happened to me. I shared a link with a number of my friends, then received a warning on my screen that if I didn't stop sharing the link I would be blocked as a spammer.

    I stopped -- so all should be well, right?

    Nope. Account was disabled.

    Like you, I appealed. I received an autoreply acknowledging that they had received my message and would get back with me. They never got back with me.

  63. Dulcita Love Says:

    I have seen this happen to some highly credible people who are very active in Social Media and providing much value. It certainly creates a feeling of discomfort knowing that something like that has happened and can happen to people without warning. I hope you receive some communication and reinstatement soon. Dulcita Love @dulcitalove

  64. Jeremy Kelsall Says:

    WOW!!

    Just goes to show how uncertain things can be when using internet property that you don't own.

    Personally, I think that what they did to you was absolutely ridiculous. If I were you, I would be a little more than pissed off. Good luck on getting this situation resolved, keep us updated.

    Jeremy

  65. Brendan McNally Says:

    Joel take down those happy smiling pictures at once, at once do you hear me.

    You need to look humble and truly sorry for your sins, facebook gods are all around us, that is how they know whether you've been naughty or nice

  66. Dr.Mani Says:

    Joel, while I understand how it hurts, you more than many others should know exactly "How to make a GIANT pay you"... I blogged it 2 years ago:

    http://www.MoneyPowerWisdom.com/how-to-make-a%20-giant-pay-you/

    Hope FB reinstates your account soon. They often do respond and react to genuine requests.

    All success
    Dr.Mani

  67. Aakash Says:

    Well, congratulations on having that many Facebook friends; how many of them, though, were Invites that you received, vs. those that you sent out? And how many of them do you know? [lol ;-) ] Then again, from all the conferences, books, resources, etc..., I wouldn't be surprised if you did know most of them (or at least had had some contact). Anyway, I am about to purchase that DVD - I saw the ad, at the top of your blog.

    I need help, in increasing my Adsense revenue!! (Am in between jobs right now ... and need all the residual income I can get!)

  68. Markley Says:

    Hey joel, i believe you get the point about it. you should teach me sometimes about another tricks and boost my adsense revenue until 60 bucks a day.

    peace www.mariscat.com

  69. Chris Vendilli Says:

    A similar thing happened to me:

    http://www.profromgo.com/blog/holy-schnikes-facebook-thinks-im-a-spammer-disabled-facebook-account.html

    I was disabled because I was sending friend requests to about 40 people or so who were in a group with me... They were exactly the type of people I hoped to network with so I sent friend requests along with messages to each of them.

    I got one warning, that I didn't even have enough time to see, and then next thing I knew, BAM... disabled!

    I was lucky enough to get my account back though. It took me awhile and a little bit of fussing but was well worth the trouble since I enjoy Facebook so much.

    It's a major pain to get them to look at your account.

    Here's a few tips:

    * Send an email pleading your case to disabled [at] facebook.com

    * Check out this page in the Facebook help center:

    http://www.facebook.com/help.php?hq=disabled+account&ref;=hq

    Hope that helps and hope to see you back soon!

    -Chris Vendilli

  70. Luca Says:

    Hi, Joel!

    Unbelievable what happened with your Facebook account! They will soon run out of business if they keep doing these more to a few "world wide seen" guys like you.

    And why the limit of 5000? Why I cannot have millions of friends?

    Luca.

    PS...FaceBook, if you don't reinstate Joel's account, we will all migrate from Facebook to...Twitter! :P

  71. Dave Says:

    I agree completely. It sounds similar to dealing with government. Never a pleasant thing.
    Dave

  72. Steve Says:

    Joel, I hope that this results in much positive publicity for you, and much fuel to change for Facebook! Thanks the modeling the way to stay in touch with interested prospects with integrity and with a personal touch.

  73. Elena Says:

    It is clear to me that you have not accepted any responsibility in the matter. It is all FB's fault. You are just an innocent bystander...who got trumpled on. Besides,you are Joel Comm, why should you have to follow the rules....the rules are for the lackys.

  74. Loz Says:

    seems they are cracking down on internet marketers using facebook for something other than what facebook was designed for - for contacting friends and family and keeping on touch, or at least trying to find those who they had lost touch with at school...

  75. Rick Butts Says:

    Facebook is run my morons.

    I ran a pinup calendar contest and just as the contest was ending I saw the same message you did Joel when I want to login.

    What kind of HORRIBLE customer service is it to tell someone to read your FAQ so you can GUESS which matter was violated - no appeal?

    What you lost, Joel, was a valuable resource, all those contacts and content - zapped.

    I feel your pain,
    Rick Butts

  76. The Daily Blonde Says:

    It's a sad day in hell when we have to limit our friendships. Facebook, get a clue.

  77. Davender Gupta Says:

    Facebook = AOL, the 2009 version. Because it's a closed system, they can do what they want. Beware of using it as a main business contact system.

    That said, FB did it to the wrong guy, for sure. Best wishes to get your access back.

    -davender

  78. Serena Carcasole Says:

    That's crazy!! I know Facebook must have rules at some point but they are unreasonably strict on things that shouldn't be strict. For instance I was promoting a event for one of my clients and posted on 4 groups and they suspended the account for a few days. That is insane! I was promoting a free teleseminar and each message was a little different but the same link was used. Whatever you do don't copy and paste any messages into facebook because they seem to pick up on it and consider it spam. Even if you revise each message it still picks up on the copy and paste.
    If it wasn't for entrepreneur's facebook would not be anywhere near as successful as it is. If they keep it up they will not have thousands of people joining every day. Obviously If someone reaches 5000 contacts they are one of their best members that contribute growth to the network so why ban them or suspend them??????

    Serena Carcasole
    www.vbsondemand.com
    Your 1STOP Business Service Shop
    Outsource your way to success!

  79. Jan Verhoeff Says:

    This is pretty weird. I've had the same problem with twitter. I have 2000 friends and they will allow me no more friends. I feel like a rude geek.

    I can't be friends with more than 2000 peeps? What's with that?

    Jan Verhoeff
    http://janverhoeff.com

  80. Suthan M Says:

    Let me tell you what migt had happened. Joel might tried sending number of messages more than what facebook limits his account for. When that happens, they limit an account. Well, that fairplay, as they dont want anyone to abuse their system than normal everyday uses. In fact, even WF has the system on poct count and message timing for PMs. Same theory apply.

    About Joel saying its "shoot then ask" policy, i beg to differ. I am pretty sure Facebook provided warnings when his limit was approaching. I know this pretty well, as i am a constant user of Facebook.

    Hope this helps clear the air on Facebook, and make other Warrios dont get too concerned or worried about Facebook.

    Joel Comm.. no offense to you too.. just clearning the air. Contact their support and i am pretty sure they will let you get back your profile access.

  81. Iain Buchanan Says:

    How annoying of Facebook to do this - you followed the rules, used Facebook as intended and haven't spammed.

    Yet I get spammed all the time on Facebook - mainly bands, artists, DJs and promoters sending me daily messages about their next event... Even if my profile doesn't match their musical genre.

    When I message them back I simply get a, "Oooh it's tough and we're trying so hard for success" type message...

    Oh, the irony of you getting banned and others that should be banned not being so....

    I hope you get your account back.

  82. lincoln Says:

    hey joel...thanks for the advice...i ran into similar problems and i am only at 1000 plus.......lincoln

  83. lincoln Says:

    hi joel...thanks for the advice...i ran into similar problems and i am only at 1000 plus....lincoln

  84. Kathe Lucas Says:

    Hey Joel,

    Start a petition...we'll sign it! ;)

    Maybe Facebook is fraught with old Paypal employees with a "more is bad" mentality. hehe

    All My Best,

    Kathe

  85. Gareth C Thomas Says:

    Hi Joel,

    I had this happen to me but by Amazon.co.uk. I was a registered seller with them and I asked them to change my email address because their system kept crashing or rejecting the change (don't know why, just a crap system of theirs I guess!). Anyhow, this ended up with their admin person changing my email to garet at changingfortunes.co.uk instead of garetH at etc.etc. Result: some sales I made never got fulfilled. People got pissed at me and thought I was scamming them! I didn't even know 1. I'd made a sale and 2. they had paid me so how could I fulfill?

    Idiots just kept sending email to the wrong address, which they'd created, and thus I didn't respond to their requests.

    Result: LIFELONG BAN despite appealing (twice).

    Best of luck with your issue on Facebook. These people really need a Google Slap!!! :o)

  86. Stew Says:

    Hey Joel,
    Look, Facebook suxs, and everybody knows it. Just follow the conversation on
    Twitter and you will realize your travails are not unique. I guess the worst thing to read is your going hat in hand and prostrating yourself to get reinstated. You did nothing wrong and you are worth more!

  87. Bas Says:

    It's really troubling that more and more web services are just suspending users without giving them a warning first. I was recently suspended from Bluehost without any notice. I just went to my site and it said it was suspended. It's a simple blog, but what if it was a business website?

    I hadn't done anything against their terms of service, there was just a plugin that sent a SQL query to my database which was a bit heavy (1 time only). They then immediately suspended my account. Looks like Facebook is the same when it comes to suspensions. No more warnings.

  88. Anonymous Says:

    if you or your company is related to the Blogosphere then sihn up With Bloghology Social Network. the Network is open for all Bloggers and Companies related to the Blogosphere and with out any limits - we value the Social networking and we cant keep stupid limitations like what Facebook (Faceboot) has

    thnx

  89. Wilson Cowden Says:

    Hey you guys gals banned people one n'all ... well one thing for sure they are just like Google you can do your best by them ... then bhamm whamm thank you Man ... Not!!! I've just had they same thing happen to me with Twine ... account blocked with no explanation plus they have not even answered my emails asking why? ... I sure loved that Twine too ... Never mind though Joel plenty more social networks to build upon eh!

    Onwards n Upwards
    lets all join up together with Twitter B4 they get to big for there nest
    Wilson Cowden

  90. Richard Says:

    Alas this clampdown in the main has been brought about by affiliate marketeers targeting facebook too heavily (think post 'Brian Campbell' era), I have many friends on facebook who are simply fed up to the teeth of being offer 'this and that offer' via new friends who are clearly only out to sell other facebook users something and not really interested in who they get as a friend.

    If you have a huge list anyway then going onto facebook is likely to bring you no further $$$ benefit, as it's a no-no to market to people directly. I would say in general that the 'send message' to function is now very restricted compared to what it was, say down from 30 to just 6 before you get a warning. But people have to realise this is down to abuse by users. Facebook is a multi-billion $$ business, and like any of us being in such a fortunate position to be in the position, would you be happy with people coming in and taking away potential business?

    This might sound harsh to some, and I am a big fan of Joel's stuff, but facebook is basically under attack by affiliate marketing and as such has had to respond. It's not just Joel alone, it's everyone combined in the mix .e.g. If I go on facebook to talk about knitting patterns then no offence but I have no interest in a 'mastermind manifest' course on how to make money. I just want to talk knitting patterns!

  91. Louis Says:

    I can't believe it. Have you heard back from facebook yet? Keep us updated.

    Thanks

  92. Richard Says:

    Rajinder,
    I have just seen your post commenting on how you have been banned for joining more than 300 groups. Are you telling us all that you think you can effectively contribute to more than 300 daily, you must type fast and think faster - Folks sorry this 300 groups thing should be a 'wake up' example as to why facebook is cracking down. Once again this is a multi-billion $$$ business with over 25 million users active daily. I receive on average 20 group invites (not people but groups) a day (that's 600+ per month) so you can see where fb are coming from
    Regards
    Richard
    http://www.horselayingsystems.com

  93. Paul FitzGerald Says:

    It's not just Facebook. I had a similar problem with Plaxo-Pulse.. they suspended mu account, before notifying me that I had allegedly broek their rules. (Reinstated since). It's humiliating to be 'suspended' or 'banned' when you haven't broken any rules... or perhaps you might have, but they're so obscure you wouldn't know you have done so!

  94. Michael Blaes Says:

    Hi Joel,

    Fortunately I haven't had this problem. But then again I dont have that many friends. It really stinks what they did. It reminds me of one job where I got fired by the computer. "Employee cannot log on prior to being terminated..." If we can help at all Joel let us know.


    Michael Blaes

  95. Will Says:

    Joel,

    Sorry to hear that. But we need to think about both sides of this argument.

    I think Facebook are trying to do their best to keep people from using their network solely for business purposes. Obviously something you were doing flagged their attention, and based on how many users they have, I doubt whether they would sit their reading through your profile before they delete it - as you say, they just hit the 'off' button.

    It is in their best interest to do it this way though. I am certain that most of the accounts that do something to flag their attention would in fact be accounts misusing the system. For this reason it is easier for them to just hit the 'off' button - then they only have to deal with the real and legitimate users who take the time to dispute their blocked account.

    In their eyes you are messaging people who are not your friends. Yes, these people have requested to be your friend but at the time of messaging they are not a confirmed friend of yours - whether it be your fault or Facebooks. I think Facebook are right to flag accounts doing this. After all, I who wants to be hit with nuisance spam messages all day on Facebook as well.

    I am sure that when you present your case to them they will re-activate your account. Just remember that the only reason they would do something like this is because they think it will benefit the network as a whole - they are just trying to make a better network where everyone can interact without all the nuisance spam and businesses trying to flog their products - we get that stuff everywhere else on the Internet and Facebook is somewhere we don't need it so much.

    I guess it's just another reminder that when you use any site on the Internet, you are playing by their rules and they can do whatever they want, whenever they want. I think we all put way too much time and trust into sites these days - the only sites you can ever be sure of are your own.

  96. RICHARD Says:

    I am going to have to turn down request now, everybody wants to know me despite still being a trainee millionaire. On a serious note though Joel it is their loss.

  97. ZK@Internet Marketing Blog Says:

    Why would they have a limit on the number of fans, its crazy for facebook to have a limit on number of fans

  98. Jennifer Eden Cruz Says:

    Hi,

    What's wrong of having more than 5000 friends, you are famous and people can't help wanting to be friends with you to learn from you. Isn't it that that's what it's all about making friends and connect with people in all parts of the world. I think that is so absurd and unacceptable!

    Jennifer

  99. John Good Says:

    Does anyone ever read the terms of service? Here's a direct quote:

    Termination

    The Company may terminate your membership, delete your profile and any content or information that you have posted on the Site or through any Platform Application and/or prohibit you from using or accessing the Service or the Site or any Platform Application (or any portion, aspect or feature of the Service or the Site or any Platform Application) for any reason, or no reason, at any time in its sole discretion, with or without notice, including if it believes that you are under 13, or under 18 and not in high school or college.

    So essentially it doesn't matter what you think or who you are. All big Internet entities are essentially the same when it comes to dealing with the masses. No one individual matters very much.

  100. Jeanette Says:

    Hi Joel,

    Unbelievable! Facebook thinks they are immune. So did Motrin. When you create your online network alternative, please send me an invite.

    Joy~
    Jeanette

  101. Jeff Sargent Says:

    Hey Joel,

    Man, that really blows. I can't imagine all the work you put in to getting 5000 friends the legitimate way and you get penalized for it. I think Facebook is suffering from severe growing pains. They probably have someone sitting behind a desk making 6 bucks an hour and just figured you must have cheated to get that many friends.

    Hope they re-instate your account Joel.

    Later,
    Jeff Sargent

  102. Wade Tonkin Says:

    Hey Joel - I have to say this is lame. If they had an issue with the way that you are using Facebook, then you should have been warned - if not, deactivating your account is a lame move.

    Fight the power man!

    Wade

  103. Will Says:

    They don't have a limit of the number of fans you can have - Joel is talking about friends. And he is not saying that having too many friends was the reason he got banned.

    I dare say if he only had 20 friends but was still sending messages to unconfirmed friends his account would still have got banned. The amount of friends he has is not the issue here - it is the messaging of those who are not his friends.

    Facebook keep a tight eye on who and how frequent you message people. The moment your usage of messages becomes irregular they will flag your account and possibly delete it.

  104. jon Says:

    oh it get's even worse, a friend of mine told me awhile back that he'd reached the chat limit on facebook. wha.........???? it's true, you can only chat with you're friend's so much before you reach this limit.

  105. Daniel Tetreault - PLR Products Says:

    Joel.

    How does someone of your stature get banned. Was it the fact that you had 5,000 friends for the fact that you 'engaged' with your friends and their requests to be YOUR Friend. This doesn't appear to be spammy to me! Social Media seems to slap the hands of those that abuse AND those that are successful with social media's actual intent to promote networking.

    Just my thoughts.

    Sincerely,


    Daniel Tetreault.
    Sidney, BC.

  106. Trevor Says:

    This whole story is outrageously stupid and commercially idiotic of FaceBook. The fact is power users such as Joel are who has given them the juice to get where they have gotten however they also are the ones that can bring Goliath to his knees. The whole episode has indeed tainted my attitude and such continuing attitude will in time make this Goliath like many in the past realize sooner or later they will meet their David(s).

    Several have commented on the concept that if you don't pay you don't really deserve any respect from the morons at the top. No there is no free lunch but that also applies to FB as well they get the users content for free which in essence is the fuel that feeds their commercial engine here. They are hardly doing this for nothing or the good of their health, it is a symbiotic relationship but if you insist on crapping on your unpaid partners you will have to pay the price even from your Ivory Tower and once the owners leave puberty they might actually come to realize that simple fact of life.

    To suggest FB cannot and should not be used for any commercial end in mind is equally ridiculous as the great idea would then have nothing to pay for this not free space and will die. I have sat on the sidelines watching and thus far avoided this avenue and this demonstration only confirms that was a correct decision for me as I do not support such insolent and arrogant organizations with any kind of currency whether that be my $'s or my data.

  107. JDD Says:

    Relying on any 3rd part system on the web for business is dangerous. Years ago I had a significant presence on the original Webring system. They sold out to Yahoo. Everything seemed fine and dandy and Yahoo ran the system just like it always had. They one day the TOS changed and every ring manager was locked out of their ring admin system. Yahoo decided that all those ringnames, logos, email addresses and member sites were THEIR property. In fact all that data belonged to each Ringmaster who had created their ring, made the artwork, advertised their ring on their personal site and had invited and approved each member. Or at least they THOUGHT it did.

    If you read the TOS of all the popular "free" to use systems like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. . . Once you post something on their server, it belongs to THEM. Your art, you photos, your writings. Its a BAD way for you, the use to operate a business. If they decide to lock you out of your account you have no recourse and your "stuff" is now their's to control. In fact, they count on that happening.

    I moved my Webrings to a system I host on my server. I operate my own forums and galleries where others can post messages and images. If ANY of this is important to you as a business you don't give it away to others.

    There are literally hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of abandoned web sites (or sites the "owner" cannot get into for some minor reason) on free hosting systems run by angelfire, Yahoo and many others. THEY DO NOT CARE. All those sites are indexed, generate traffic and thus advertising revenue.

    Think hard about basing any part of your business that you might depend on by putting it on someone else's system. Sure, USE them (the newest hot thing) to drive traffic to your sites. But do not give them your entire inventory or expect them to give you a free ride forever.

  108. Thelma Harcum Says:

    Hi Joel,

    I have an idea. How about registering with an extended name such as
    Joel Comm 2
    You as a citizen have the right to at least do that.

    It look like so many of these companies do not have anyone governing them.

    Especially when it can affect peoples income. It's Unbelievable!

    You have stood the test of mastery of what you offer people and it is not
    bad stuff. It is good stuff!

    Hope you the twitter book is coming along and you won't get punish for doing good.


    Best of Luck to you. When One door opens and closes another opens, stay open and it might be your own door!

    Thelma Harcum

  109. Jannah Hancock Says:

    Joel,

    I had this exact same thing happen to a friend of mine a few weeks ago. He complained to facebook and eventualy got is account reinstated. I don't think it was an easy process on his part. Once his account was reinstated, he had to start out brand new and had to send out a new request for people to be his friend again. He put out a message on twitter to everyone with an apology and asked everyone that was his friend on facebook to please add him.

    I think facebook should reevaluate their policies. They are missing out on something very valuable here that could make them money. I use facebook as a way to keep in contact with distant friends and realatives, as well as keep them all informed when I have posted something new on my website.

    Good luck to you.

    Jannah

  110. Duncan Cumming Says:

    Ive noticed some FB accounts with way more friends than 5000. Take "Boo" for example: 1,537,045 fans!!
    Its a sad day...FB is inconsistent
    I will be rethinking my efforts with FB also

  111. Roger Johnson Says:

    Facebook is sounding more like Google (adwords) everyday.. We as marketers put out all the work/effort to promote/use/recommend their services .. and then without warning BAM ! you're out, with no explanation or apology.....

    Happened to me with Adwords owing me many thousands of dollars... One day without reason or warning.. BAM! Account canceled..

    Like you on Facebook Joel.. All was legit and above board......

    Oh well.. live and learn..

    Anymore I never put all my efforts into one service/program but have "MSR" "Multiple Streams Of Resources" so I don't get taken down by the "Facebook Slap"... Google Slap" .. etc

  112. Anonymous Says:

    Joel,
    I think you are doing too much to market your business.
    If you are so famous then Facebook will consider your request.
    Good Luck.

  113. Jim Rodante Says:

    Unreal. Is this kinda like internet communism? So for 3 strikes and you're out. Sounds to me like on fastball to the groin and its: Game Over.

    C'mon Facebook..get real (and get over yourself). No site is infallible, not even yours.

    PS. Hope that comment doesn't get MY account suspended!

    Best to you Joel, I'm sure they'll do the right thing.

  114. MargHamp Says:

    Gosh, Joel, I'm so sorry for the "Facebook SLAP!" Tons of work and relationships... I do hope they will reinstate.

    This inanity continues, as many comments above iterate, so I won't duplicate. But I had a "warning" with Facebook as a newbie last year when I sent identical invitation messages to SIX people with whom I was working closely in a group (so the content was appropriate for each). I couldn't message for a couple of days.

    And Squidoo froze a friend out of the comment portion of her identity & lenses for over 6 months. She has great teaching lenses, not salesy stuff, and people were asking legitimate questions... to which she had no way to respond! She couldn't respond on their lenses NOR on her own! She could edit pages, but not comment. She found a soon-to-be Squid Angel who had experienced the same thing.

    The mistake? Being a good networker and contributing member of the Squidoo family (she viewed it as that), she spent a couple of hours late at night visiting the lenses of all who had visited her 30+ lenses and commenting on each, sometimes with a link (Squidoo link to related site, if other commenters on the lens had done so). Her sin? Too much activity in one day.

    I had a second Twitter account set up to use strictly for health-related matters, but I only had a couple of posts and followed a couple of people, before I had to put it on the backburner for a while. Next time I accessed, the account was frozen! I did finally get a response to my complaint form. I had explained the use, non-use, limited focus precisely to avoid spam and only give people what they want - HEALTH info. The Twitter response said they were reinstating the account, with apology, but that I must have triggered a spam filter when I had lots of followers coming in and no activity on my part. The following/follower relationship was out of whack ... by the FOLLOWERS, not by me!

    I am rethinking how I will use Facebook in the future based on what you've shared. Even if FB must do "shoot first" to stop spam, they could still send an automated message / questionnaire (Hey, I know a good Instant Forms Pro software! :)) so legitimate people could respond and get reinstated ASAP.

    We all await eagerly the outcome of your reinstatement quest, with all best wishes!

    Margaret

  115. Jumbo Blogger Says:

    Hi Joel

    It is a disgrace to penalise a loyal supporter in any industry, sport, fan club or whatever. Is there any way that we as your supporters may lodge a petition to FaceBook to change this brutally unfair practice?

    Regards

    Georg

  116. Paul Beaird Says:

    I have been VP of Marketing for 2 electronics companies. I am here to say from experience that Capitalism is a marvelous engine or innvation and production...except for the people who run it. Everywhere idiots do utterly self-defeating things the drive business away from the companies that pay them their salaries. Facts don't count. Goodwiil doesn't count. It's the rules that matter. Trying to exercise control over people is exactly how companies rob themselves of lucrative customer loyalty.

  117. Sunganani Says:

    Systems have limits: they do not wear a human face or heart. Facebook Admin should have contacted you or at least give you a warning about that. Having friends should not have a limit. Perhaps you should stick to what you do best: blogging!

  118. Pat Graham-Block Says:

    I intend you get this resolved and something bigger and better comes from it!

  119. Dawn McDonald Says:


    Maybe You Should check this site out Joel,

    This site was created for just what we are doing.
    They beg for the members and free advertising/networking
    Its a great concept They are just starting a bit slow, Ive been a member for a couple of years. Its worh a look, We could Blow this site up in a great way I think.

    Below is Text from the home page (or just click on my name in here) Go through everything and see what ya think. They were even having a contest to see who could "take over the site/not buy it" for free. Maybe you? ;-) They tried so hard but i think personal things are happening. Someone could really have a hugly profitable site here! (Dont know if they found anyone yet tho.

    Welcome to the Bizzy Blogz Community


    Welcome to The World's Best Business Entrepreneur Network - Market your business for FREE.
    Giving you the best of 2 worlds; a social network that is functionally better than MySpace AND video uploading and sharing like YouTube. Plus, we added our own glitters and graphics site so you get all under one Company. Network with 1,000's of other businesses looking to network and affiliate with you! It's FREE and you get paid to bring your friends!
    1% of the sale of our company will be paid to our free members.

    1. CREATE A CUSTOM PROFILE
    •Enter your personal business information
    •Add a link to your website or affiliate site
    •Upload photos and video ads and host them on your profile
    •Create your own ONLINE SHOP from your profile
    •Create Groups for your team to meet and stay it touch
    •Create Training Groups
    •Add many custom profile details...
    •Featured and New profile will rotate on home page

    2. COMMUNICATE AND NETWORK
    •Create your own small network inside BizzyBlogz.biz
    •Create or participate in groups public or private
    •Create Events-conventions,podcasts,sales,and many more...
    •Participate in forums
    •Create your personal business blogs
    •Personal urls for profile, blog, events, classifieds
    •Send and receive e-mail
    •Instant messaging
    •Classifieds - post products and services, jobs, websites, boats/cars For Sale, Videos,
    rental properties, time-shares, anything you want to sell or use and much more...

    3. GROW YOUR NETWORK
    •Invite your business partners or friends to join your network
    •Business partners or friends can invite too
    •Viral exposure to your business or company website
    •Increase sales/profits and activity
    •Develop new business contacts
    •Make new friends or partners
    •Make or close business deals
    •Develop new partnerships

    4. EARN MONEY
    •1st tier referral from others who join your network and use BizzyBlogz.biz Full Site Features

    •Do you need more business?
    •Do you need an increase in traffic to your website or company?
    •Do you want to network with entrepreneurs outside your local/state area as well?
    •Do you want to meet others business entrepreneurs that share your dreams and goals of having a successful business?
    •Do you want to receive helping hints and topics from our experts?
    •Do you have the desire to help others succeed?

    The Bizzy Blogz Community Network is well over a year old & the best online business resource center & business community.
    It is designed to provide the entrepreneur with the tools needed to start up, grow and
    flourish into a profitable business.

  120. Dawn McDonald Says:

    This is the email they sent me in Nov 08 about taking it over.


    The OWN BB and BBC sites for F.R.E.E Contest

    Hello Members.

    This will be sent out more than once.

    Here is a chance to OWN the Bizzy Blogz F.r.e.e Blogz site at http://www.bizzyblogz.com
    and the Bizzy Blogz Community site at http://www.bizzyblogz.biz
    (and all related domain names) for F.R.E.E.

    We are going to hold a contest to see who would be the best owner
    of these sites and if you will qualify.

    To qualify you must be able to afford our server fees of $202.00 a month,
    paid on the 1st. of each month, and stay on our server for no less than twelve (12) months.
    After that time you can either stay with our server or move to another one.

    You must also have a Godaddy account or to get one
    so we can transfer the domain names easily.

    You must give us five (5) good reasons why you would be the best owners
    for these great sites, and a short description on how you would make
    changes to make them better.

    You will have full control and responsiblity over both sites,
    but not the server Cpanels until the end of the twelve (12) months
    of server fees have been met.
    OR unless you are totally experienced in that area.
    This can be discussed further.

    We will keep the scripts and software licenses in our name until
    the twelve (12) months of server fees have been met.
    At that time we will then transfer them.

    You can NOT sell the sites with out first informing us,
    and they can only be sold AFTER the twelve (12) months of server fees have been met.

    We will help you with all aspects of running the sites for thirty (30) days.
    Anything after that there will be a small service charge per problem/issue.

    Please reply to this email, but ONLY if you feel you can qualify
    and can AFFORD the $202.00 monthly without any problems or delays.

    Please don't waste your time or ours if you can't, because we expect a lot of members
    to reply and those that are only curious and just want to ask questions
    will be ignored and deleted.

    NOTE: We are NOT selling these sites. They are F.R.E.E.
    So no, there are no commissions, profit sharing or anything to be paid out.

    So let the contest begin!
    All entries MUST be submitted before November 14th. 2008.

    Please reply to this email with the required information,
    and not the Admin through the site.

    Thank you and good luck!
    The BB and BBC Admin.

    I have No Idea what has happend since this email. The site has gotten slow now so maybe they down graded their servers. Im only putting this in here as an Idea I really liked the site! and i hate to see it go. So anyone interested and can handle it, should go check it out and maybe contact the owners.
    Im just a member I swear! This is my profile there http://www.bizzyblogz.biz/TheDawnHasCome/

    If I could afford it right now i would, in a skinny minute! This is the sort of thing i was looking to do with the nich i have chosen!

    Thanks for listening Dawn ;-)

  121. Joel Says:

    I will not endorse bizzyblogz.biz.

    That has got to be one of the ugliest sites I've ever seen.

    I think the designer is stuck in 1995.

  122. Shannon Henley Says:

    Hey Joel... Ridiculous electronic flags and limitations have triggered many
    problems along the way,hindering growth online as a whole.
    This,undoubtedly is yet another.
    Barack Obama has a big interest in Change,and wants to include the Internet
    as an important part of it...
    This makes me wonder if Facebook shouldn't consider changing this limit of
    5000 before the President exceeds this number.

    "Just a thought;Or maybe not! S.L.Henley

  123. Dawn McDonald Says:

    LOL! Hey I didnt say it looked good! (you have a choice of what Theme you want to see it in, But yes what They chose sucks) I just like the Idea/concept! Obviously they have problems. Was Just a thought if someone else wanted to get it and do what they wanted. "sorry" ;-(
    Dawn

  124. Tim Says:

    Facebook was created to solve the main problem affecting all social networking sites: inauthentic users. I've been on fb for over two years and have had exactly zero friend requests from fake profiles. I personally know the over 100 *real* friends I have on fb.

    That said, I'm shocked by the level of support for what you have done. You probably do not know most of these 5,000 friends. You are using fb's messaging system--a system designed for personal messages--as a free marketing tool for your business. You should have developed an fb app instead, because it is understood by all that fb apps are commercial in nature.

    Everybody has to make a buck. I have no problem with that. However, you got caught using a non-commercial product for commercial purposes. Though you may have followed their rules to the letter, you still used their non-commercial product for commercial purposes.

    You should reconsider your approach to dealing with what has happened to you. Instead, offer to delete your inauthentic friends and start over with an fb app to do your marketing.
    Tim

  125. Justin Says:

    It's hard to believe that this happened. But then again, this problem seems to be common, when it comes to the guilty until proven innocent syndrome that seems to exist these days. Especially in the technological realm and in the online social media world.

    So I'm curious is there an update to the problem yet? Have you solved it?

    If so, there is a new app that has just been released that you might be interested in. It's a texttochat application that is built into Facebook and the probably the first opportunity to make money from an app on Facebook. You might want to check it out: http://links.4ligo.net/brklj

    Hope you get this solved.

    Justin

  126. Darren Tan Says:

    Wow, this is a bit scary.. But it's their policy, we as users can only follow it. But, they should hv given us a warning before hand. It should be that way.

  127. Dominik Zynis Says:

    It's time for a digital bill of rights, these kid of policies limit peoples freedom of expression. It shouldn't matter that these are commercial sites, they advertise and pose as digital public squares; people should have the same rights they would have walking on the street or in a public square or park.

    Remember we the People run this society, not the corporations. Freedom of association and of communication are our most important basic rights. Younger generations are becoming ever more dependent on technology to express these basic natural rights, if we don't guarantee them for posterity you can be sure that future generations will be at the mercy of corporate overlords and Democracy in America will just have been a dream.

  128. Anonymous Says:

    That sucks man :(

    I've been banned a few times, get back in there and good luck!

  129. Mike Russen Says:

    Hi Joel,

    What a liberty - We started a local networking site in Galway, Ireland but it is open for members from anywhere and unlike Facebook we welcome new members, with no restrictions on how many members and all the stupid rules that Facebook are coming up with.

    So why not take a look and come and join our user freindly community would love to see anyone there.

    The link is my name above above

    All the best

    Mike Russen

  130. Sam White Says:

    Why do you mean by reboot? 5000 friends I think is not too much, so that they needed to reboot the account.

  131. goLIVEmiami Says:

    I've received warnings from Facebook, telline me that my activity looks like spamming.

    When I don't log in for a couple of days, the friend requests add up. I do like you did, I send an introductory message just before I accept them.

    I do try to personalize the info. Change it up. But it's pretty standard issue. There are only so many things I can say, & like you I redirect them to my goLIVEmiami Facebook group or Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Go-Live-Miami-goLIVEmiamicom/55751212615

    Thanks for the article. Glad you got reinstated. I've heard of nightmares with Fbk and YouTube.

  132. mia wa Says:

    please frined of mine had just desabled her facebook mail . can you please tell me what should i do to get it for her back please tell ? am so upset for her and i jut need help from you and i'll very thankfull for you .
    thank you for responding

  133. LorDi Says:

    I too have received several warnings from Facebook about trying to make friends too fast. If the purpose of the site is to find people that you have not connected with in years, I don't understand why the limitations. I had almost 200 people in my graduating class and about half are on Facebook. In college I belonged to a sorority (another 100 friends or so)..I also wanted to add family members, friends and neighbors.

    Today, I received a personal message in my e-mail account that I was not using the account properly. They listed a contact e-mail for me if I had any questions. I am currently awaiting their reply.

    My account has not been suspended...yet. I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens.

  134. Cara Hartley Says:

    I completely agree with you. Why couldn't they issue some sort of warning before just disabling your account? Not that I'm in any danger of the same thing happening, but the "shoot first ask questions later" method isn't right.

  135. Mrs. Honey Sugur Says:

    I had the same troubles with Facebook with the "shoot first ask questions later". They set things straight, but I had to expend more effort than they did. They acted as if they'd done nothing wrong even though I followed the "rules and guidelines". It can be very frustrating.

  136. Matt Prados Says:

    Joel I am reading your twitter book now and really enjoy it. I can't believe that facebook did this to you...

  137. HARVEY ANDERSON Says:

    Greedings to all FaceBook users my FaceBook account was "DISABLE" 05-03-09 for to many friends request. but when you read the terms of Agreedment it dose not say how many friend request you can add like for example you can only add 50/100/75 something like that but when you read the Agreedment it dose not say anything about that. but at the end of the day i realy like FaceBook thank you.HARVEY

  138. virtual worlds for kids Says:

    Lol. What a way to "shut down" your popularity. Probably Facebook should have an option for users with an auto secondary account. So if the 1st account is full, the requests will automatically go to the other account. Limited to maybe.. 3 accounts before they start charging for every new account. Think thats pretty fair

  139. bilal Says:

    Facebook is like ......

    Joel you have created soo many websites why dont you create your own social networking site!!..its very easy their are tones of script available in the internet!!!
    Grab the one you like and create your own social network!!!...People like you would have 10,000000 Friends!!! and Fans Of course..

    I hope you love my idea!!...
    Let me know if you create one...(Social Network)
    if you want me to find the script for you then feel free to contact me.

    Thanks

    Regards,
    Mascobz

  140. eRaSeR Says:

    I had the same troubles with Facebook with the "shoot first ask questions later". They set things straight, but I had to expend more effort than they did. They acted as if they'd done nothing wrong even though I followed the "rules and guidelines". It can be very frustrating.


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  141. Moneymonk Says:

    Wow! what a good problem to have

  142. koko Says:

    Wow over 5000 fans??? :D

  143. Scott Wells Says:

    I was warned a couple weeks ago for posting to groups and was warned once for adding fans to fast...Crazy

  144. Kimberly Kimbrough Says:

    Joel,
    Wow! I wish I had that problem. But I have been adding fans to a client's site and your story has helped me.

  145. Freddy Says:

    You don't have 5000 friends. You have 5000 people that you may have met in your life but you don't have 5000 friends.

  146. mark Says:

    I have an incredible money making oppurtunity for you and your friends to make alot of money for purchasing online items, it is a new internet company to be launched the end of October, the oppurtunity is very real and is going to bigger than facebook and twitter combined, I need email addresses so if you would be wiling to share your addresses you could be a very very rich man and also make your friends money, please reply to mcrubaugh@gmail.com

  147. Scott Says:

    They were due to cut off the 5000 friend limit this year, does anyone know if this happened?

    Thanks

  148. Sam Says:

    As I'm sure others have said here - I highly doubt that your facebook friends are actually friends. If you know and get on well with each of those 5000 people, fair enough, but I don't think you do.
    Don't abuse the friend system and the website won't abuse you!

  149. Tino Says:

    I would have to say 5000 friends is a high number to have for friends. I am sure no one can keep track of a 1,000 friends let alone 5,000. People using it as a way to market themselves should just create fan pages that way there is no limit.

  150. Forex Neutrino Says:

    Joel,,you are already well known in this industry...easy for you to reinstate your account...if we are nobody?? difficult to appeal and get back the account...right?
    it should be prior to suspension, facebook need to notify and question what the wrong with our account..it's simply go and suspend the account..

  151. francis Says:

    i have been disable from facebook pass 4 days,i have been complaining facebook about it pass 3 days but i have not receive an answer from them.please help me to get my account back...

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INFORMATION

Joel Comm is an Internet entrepreneur who has been online for over 20 years. In 1995, Joel launched WorldVillage.com, a family-friendly portal to the web which enjoys thousands of visitors each day. Joel is the co-creator of ClassicGames.com, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 1997, and now goes by the name Yahoo! Games. Since then, Joel's company, InfoMedia, Inc., has launched dozens of web sites which offer online shopping, free stuff, website reviews and more. Joel is the author of many popular books, including the NY Times Best-Seller, The AdSense Code. He regularly makes appearances at Internet marketing conferences and seminars.
FTC Disclaimer: Posts written before December 1st, 2009 may include endorsements of products or services that include a material connection to the author. Readers should assume a material connection for any product or service endorsed prior to December 1, 2009.