Careful What You Like on Facebook. Too Much Liking Can Get You BANNED
By Brianna Snyder
12:25 PM EDT, August 26, 2011
A couple of months ago, the musician Mike Doughty complained on Tumblr that Facebook blocked him from liking things. On his birthday, he’d attempted to like all the happy-birthday posts on his wall, exceeding the (undisclosed) number of likes Facebook allows, and giving him this message:
“Block! You are engaging in behavior that may be considered annoying or abusive by other users.
You have been blocked from using the like feature because you repeatedly misused this feature. This block will last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. When you are allowed to reuse this feature, please proceed with caution. Further misuse may result in your account being permanently disabled.”
Of all the annoying Facebook behaviors to regulate, commenters wanted to know, why THIS one?
It turns out that, like most things, there are systems put in place -- however imperfect the design -- to protect users from spammers and hackers and other unwanted Internet harassment, and sometimes innocent, well-meaning, sincere likers get caught in the crossfire. Another victim posted to Reddit a month ago: “I was banned from liking things,” and dozens of commenters voiced support/advice.
And others commiserated, sort of, sharing their stories of over-liking as a way of pranking their friends. “Like-bombing” is when you go and like as many posts on a person’s page as possible, and, assuming that person has his or her Facebook notifications set to e-mail, the bomb can “blow up” a person’s inbox with notices from Facebook that your four-year-old post -- and every post from then to now -- was just “liked.” Some people get pretty mad. Mostly it’s just annoying.
There’s a Facebook fan page devoted to “Like Bombing,” with somewhere around 2,700 fans, and lots of troublemakers scheme and swap victory tales: “O= I just got blocked from 'liking' things because my bomb blasted so hard”; “just got blocked :D”; “i liked more than 17,000 things on one wall and i couldnt like stuff for a week.” There’s also a tool out there you can run that will auto-like every post on someone’s wall for you. (That’ll save you a lot of time, but won’t protect you when Facebook drops the hammer on you for being a pest.)
Facebook doesn’t appear to have a clear policy on liking and like bombing and bans on the feature. They simply note, sternly, that once you’re banned, you’re on notice, and tread carefully, and don’t blow it or you’ll get banned for life.