Monday, 21 February 2011

Has Facebook Blocked Your Website?

In addition to being the Founder and Administrator of Bloggers Network, I'm also a member of six other blogging groups on Facebook. This process helps me to get my posts seen by the blogging community for essential feedback etc.

On Friday, 18th February and after doing a new post on my blog, I decided to post links to this new post on all the groups I belong to. As a result and because (I assume) I posted in succession, my website has now been blocked on Facebook without warning or explanation.

I have contacted Facebook concerning this and hopefully, the block will be lifted soon. If you find your website has mistakenly been blocked by Facebook, use the following form to contact them:
http://www.facebook.com/help/contact/244560538958131

The most annoying part about this, is that not only has all the direct links to my website been removed from Facebook including the Bloggers Network that I administer, but all the Facebook "likes" on each post on my blog has now been reset to zero. Furthermore, no blog visitor such as yourself can "like" my blog or any post until the block has been removed. Will these Facebook "like" numbers be reinstated when the block is lifted? I certainly hope so!

I understand Facebook must have safe-guards in place to prevent spammers from spamming their system, but being blocked after posting 6 links in approximately 15 minutes is somewhat "over the top" in my view. If I had known such action would have blocked my website, I wouldn't have posted the links.

As you may or may not know, Facebook do not make it entirely clear (see below) as to what is and what is not acceptable when posting links. I don't want them to give away their algorithm secrets, but some guidelines/clarification (and a warning) would be most helpful to prevent honest users of their system like myself having their website blocked.

This is the only information Facebook provides regarding the above: "Unfortunately, Facebook cannot provide any specifics on the rate limits that are enforced. Please know that the threshold at which you are warned is not a specific number, but rather determined by different factors, such as speed, time, and quantity."

Just be warned that if you decide to post your link in multiple groups in succession on Facebook, you too could have your website blocked. I don't want you going through the same problems I'm currently experiencing.

On a brighter side, at least most of my posts on my blog Fan Page haven't been removed. This is because any new posts I publish on my blog, the service NetworkedBlogs automatically use a shortened URL and not a direct link to post the new content on my page. If these had been removed, well, I dread to think how I would feel.

One thing is for certain, I won't make the same mistake twice as we're clearly at the mercy of Facebook and NOT the other way around!

Has your website been blocked by Facebook? Please let us know.


UPDATE 31st May 2013: Given the amount of search engine traffic that I receive daily on this blog post, I've just published a new post on how to avoid your website from being blocked by Facebook: Is Your Website Blocked By Facebook?

UPDATE 11th July 2011: Google has blocked all .co.cc websites from its search results because the domain has been found to be too "spammy". For more information on this, see article: Google Plus, Facebook Chat & Blog News

UPDATE 6th March 2011: It has been discovered that posting in succession was not the reason for the block. The reason is that all .co.cc domains have been blocked by Facebook. For more details on this and how this situation was resolved, read these update articles (newest first):

- Move To The New Domain Now Complete
- Derek's Home & Business Blog Is Moving
- Facebook Website Blocking Update


As ever, if you want to stay up to date with the latest blog posts, don't forget to follow via Google Friend Connect (button on sidebar), on NetworkedBlogs, via Email (maximum of one email per day), on Facebook and Google+ or by subscribing to our blog feed at:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/DereksHomeAndBusinessBlog

You can also follow me on Twitter @djones1509, Google+ and on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/djones1509
https://plus.google.com/104849975941505117776

Be careful in your social marketing efforts!

22 comments:

  1. Wow that is truly crazy Derek... Didn't even know something like that could happen. I am a member of quite a few groups on FB too. FB gets on my nerves sometimes... Sorry for your loss ..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Kriti...I appreciate your support.

    With there being quite a few members in Bloggers Network who are also members of other groups, I thought posting this article would make everyone aware of the situation. I certainly don't want anyone to experience the same problem.

    Derek

    ReplyDelete
  3. So, would using a service such as Hoot Suite to do scheduled posts be a way around this to a degree? Hoot Suite and similar services created shortened links, so I'm thinking that should be a safe delivery path.

    Beyond that, it sounds like the next step would be to not post at all your normal FB groups on the same day. That's annoying and counterproductive, but if it's necessary until we find out more details on this, I'll do it. Normally, as soon as I publish a blog article, I would immediately post to the whole list of various FB groups, concurrently, just like you have done. It never occurred to me that this would be viewed as sandbagging (similar to the way Twitter reacts).

    What are your thoughts/suggestions, Derek? I'd like to err on the side of caution until you hear something from Facebook.

    ~ Dawn

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Dawn for your comment :)

    Using a URL shortening service such as dlvr.it, goo.gl etc would certainly do the trick as they could, theoretically, only block one URL.

    I would be very cautious now though Dawn and as a recommendation, try posting your link once per hour per group. This way, Facebook cannot accuse you of spamming.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The warning that my site on facebook will be blocked as happened to me several times. One time it was blocked for 24 hours. What I did was make multiple messages to different folks on facebook in a short period of time. But I have done the same thing and nothing happened. Strange!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's what's so annoying John... it's a "hit and miss system". I've noticed quite a few people on Facebook promoting their links far too often but yet they don't get blocked!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Why would they ever do that? I hope they take it off!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Derek, sorry to hear about what FB has done. I actually had a friend that was block prior to seeing your post, she said that one of her friends reported her as spam (for promoting her blog).

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey,

    did you ever manage to solve the problem? I have the same problem, and found this site by googling the issue. I am an illustrator and Facebook won't let me publish or mention my website anywhere. I don't understand how this can even happen, it's my own domain with .com ending and should be fine in every way. Have tried reporting it to Facebook many times over the past few weeks, but nothing...

    Essi

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Essi,

    Sorry to hear you're having problems. When I had the problem, I had no alternative but to change the domain for my blog. See articles:

    1. http://www.derekjones.co/2011/03/move-to-new-domain-now-complete.html
    2. http://www.derekjones.co/2011/02/dereks-home-business-blog-is-moving.html
    3. http://www.derekjones.co/2011/02/facebook-website-blocking-update.html

    My problem was slightly different to yours in that ALL .co.cc domains were blocked due to spammers using this free domain service. I'm not entirely sure why your domain has been blocked...it could be that someone has reported it as spam on Facebook.

    Facebook are very slow to respond in cases like this. In fact, I will be surprised if you do receive a response... I surly didn't, even after contacting them several times.

    If you don't hear back from them Essi, I'm sorry to say that your only alternative is to change your domain.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello, I found your website page after searching about Facebook not allowing you to post links on other Facebook Pages. Thank you for sharing this info and I hope I will still be able to use my page without Facebook eliminating me from posting on pages or comments anymore. We are a small, family owned business that makes 3 and 4 wheel pedal karts in the USA. I have been searching Facebook for all the Made in USA pages I can find and had been posting a small paragraph about our company and a link to our website. I got a warning this morning that they consider me spamming. However, these are very relevant posts because all of made in USA Facebook pages encourage US manufacturers to feel free and post their info on their page. So needless to say, this is very frustrating. Especially since I am getting some great feedback from my posts and people are asking me questions and now I can't even post replies to these questions because Facebook is giving me final warnings to stop posting spam even though I am legitimately responding to people that seemed interested in our company/products. Any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again for posting this webpage!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I Derek. The same thing just happened to me, and I think it was because my site was hacked and a redirect was created. the hack was found and fixed quickly and now i am appealing, thanks to finding your link. I have even offered to pay any expenses as it is important our website http://www.dressagedaily.com which is reporting on the Olympics right now can have content shared. I have always been careful not to be too spammy, this is such a bummer.....

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hope facebook will unblock my website.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Seems like I am not the only with this issue. I run an honest business as well and just the other day I notice FB blocked 2 of my links. What gets me is one of the links has never been used on FB and the other very little so I find it very odd that they would block it. I also thought maybe someone reported as abusive for what reason don't know, but I have never posted one of those links until I decided to try it out to see if it too was blocked - so no one really has that link to report. Of course to try and get an answer from FB is impossible. Thanks for the post. Kiki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why you should have your links blocked, especially when you haven’t posted them on Facebook is very strange. Although the response from FB is extremely poor in cases like this, I do hope you manage to get this situation resolved. Please let me know how you get on.

      Delete
  15. Stumble on your page after researching why my url was blocked, I have a online net radio and recently found out they blocked my url. I don't even update my status that often, dj's played every two hours and not even that much. Mine said it was reported as abuse by fb users. I just used the link you posted above to file a report about my site. Now I wait and see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I was testing sharing my new site and must have posted too many times too quickly and my site was blocked forever just for testing it, I guess testing is not allowed :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Xizzi and thank you for visiting my blog.

      As you indicated, your site was probably blocked because you posted the link to it too many times in such a short period.

      When a block occurs, the site is not normally blocked indefinitely unless you continue to post too often. If it has been a few weeks since you were blocked and you have submitted an appeal, have you checked to see if you can now post your site on Facebook..??

      Delete
  17. Our NGO's site http://khaildaranjuman.com is also blocked from last 4 months.
    Wrote many times to facebook but all in vain. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Khaildar and thank you for visiting my blog.

      I've just posted your URL on Facebook and it worked just fine. It looks as though your site has now been unblocked. :)

      Delete
  18. I finally got my URL back, so I'm posting this everywhere that I had searched for an answer:

    Facebook blocked use of our URL for years, yes years. For some reason no one could include our website URL (a-fib.com) in any post, or even on our own FB page. They'd get an error message saying our site had been flagged as spammy. This had been going on for years! FB has zero customer service.

    Here's what worked. After trying everything else over the course of three years, we finally resorted to writing a pleading letter on our letterhead, asking why would anyone block a non-profit trying to help heart patients? We sent it 'registered mail' to FB headquarters. (Advice I found among other ideas online from those with a similar problem.) It worked. Praise the lord! Patti Ryan

    ReplyDelete
  19. Apparently Facebook is also relying on major companies such as MCAFEE, ESET, NORTON etc....

    Even my website is blocked by Facebook.
    Found this post (http://www.derekjones.co/2011/02/has-facebook-blocked-your-website.html ) and relized that my domain is blacklisted by McAfee. Not sure if this is the sole reason behind Facebook not permitting us to share.

    Anyways, since Facebook has been passive in responding, we have created a ticket with McAfee and we are getting it reviewed.

    The funny thing is that our website with http://www.domain.in gets a CLEAN chit while http://domain.in is getting blacklisted...I think their system thinks these two are seperate sites ...not sure.

    ReplyDelete

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