As Facebook has grown in popularity, the social network has also become much stricter in the enforcement of its Rights and Responsibilities across the site. Because of this, any deviation from the rules, however slight, can result in an account being locked or disabled. In most cases, account recovery is possible rather quickly, but in cases where security concerns are raised, account recovery can be much more difficult.
This article will take you through the various reasons why your Facebook account may be locked or disabled and give you tips on how to proceed with account recovery.
As we mentioned above, there are a number of reasons that could explain a blocked or disabled Facebook account, and these reasons can fall under three main categories: site maintenance, error, or security. Before reaching out to Facebook directly, it is important that you identify and understand the possible reasons for your locked account so that your concerns can be adequately addressed by the Facebook team.
The first reason that could explain your inability to access your account is, quite simply, general site maintenance. When a site is being worked on, it is not uncommon for a webmaster to lock access to accounts to prevent users from toying with the site. If this is the case, your account access will be restored once the work is finished.
It is also possible that the disabling of your account could be due to user or system error. If one of your friends accidentally reported some of your content as either abusive or marked it as spam spam, Facebook will automatically flag your account while it investigates the reported content. It is also possible that another user has reported your account as fake and requested that your account be removed.
If you believe that your account has been disabled by mistake, you may appeal Facebook's decision by completing a form (see link). Once submitted, Facebook will investigate the issue. Keep in mind that requests are not guaranteed within a certain time span — you may find yourself waiting for a number of weeks.
Facebook takes its security measures very seriously, so if an account appears to pose any sort of security threat, the system will automatically flag it for review, therefore disabling user access. Security threats can include any of the following cases: creation of an account under a false identity, promoting illegal content, unsolicited contact for dating, harassment of other users, inappropriate or spam advertising, or general suspicious activity.
Regardless of the actual reason, there are a number of methods that you can use to restore access to your Facebook account.
Facebook Reviewing ID
If Facebook suspects that you have two accounts or that you have created an account under a false name, you may receive a message that reads, We'll get in touch with you at the email address you provided after we've reviewed your ID. You will now be locked out of Facebook. If this is the case, there is unfortunately not much that can be done until Facebook investigates the issue and contacts you.
Facebook Reviewing Additional Documents
Another common error message received by users reads, Unfortunately, you won't be able to access your account while we're reviewing these additional documents. We appreciate your patience, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. If this is the case, you will be asked to submit additional documents to help Facebook verify your identity.
You can read more on which type of documents Facebook accepts, how to upload your documents, why you must upload document, and what happens to your document after you have uploaded it by clicking here.
When uploading your documents, take care to cover up any confidential information (e.g. your license or passport number) to lessen the risk of identity theft. All documents should be clearly scanned, with your name, birthday, and photo properly displayed.
Once your documents are scanned and saved to your computer, head back to the contact form, click Upload and select the file containing your ID. Remember that Facebook may take a few weeks to respond to your request. Also note that if you have created your Facebook account under a false ID, you will not be able to proceed with account recovery.
Facebook Account Recovery
Here are some tips on how to restore access to a locked or disabled Facebook account. Please note that account recovery time may vary depending on the reason of a locked account.
Accounts deemed as pirated, phished, or compromised can be disabled by Facebook. If this is the case, you can proceed in one of two ways: by cleaning up your browser or by going through an additional verification process.
Don't make any attempt to open your Facebook account for about 96 hours. Clear your browser cache and delete your cookies. In some cases, this may be enough to restore account access.
If your login attempts still fail, you can also go through an additional automated security verification process. One way to do this is to confirm your mobile number by asking Facebook to send a code via text message to your phone that you can enter online. Another method is to verify your friends by identifying them in random photos in which they are tagged. If successful, you will be greeted with a congratulatory message and will regain access to your account.
How To Prevent Your Account from Being Locked
There is no exact science that can ensure access to your account at all times, but there are a few measures that you can take to prevent your account from being locked, flagged, or disabled.
Our first recommendation would be to review Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and to observe the rules as much as possible. Again, any deviation from these rules are quickly flagged and could result in investigation into your account.
We also advise against the use of proxy servers or servers that use anonymous IPs in order to access blocked sites. The use of proxy servers may have a negative impact on a Facebook account, as proxies are unknown to Facebook and may affect the overall network security.
Finally, we recommend not accessing your account on multiple devices at the same time. While Facebook does, of course, allow for multi-device authentication, accessing your account on various devices at once may be viewed as a security breach.