What can get you banned on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, or Twitter

Here, we are trying to explore social media platforms' terms and conditions and where they draw the line for their users. Know from this article what can get you banned from your favourite social media network.

What does it take to get banned from social media platforms? In fact, quite a bit. It's hard for tech companies to walk the line between keeping their platforms a place where people want to come and being accused of censorship as one person's acceptable material may be another person's offensive material.

There is so much content to keep track of. More than 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day while approx 300 hours of videos are uploaded every minute on YouTube. However, it is virtually not possible to view each piece of content before it was uploaded to any of the social media platforms.

In its monthly compliance report, Twitter said more than 46,000 Indian users were banned in May for violating its guidelines. The report indicates that 43,656 Twitter accounts were removed for promoting child sexual exploitation, non-consensual nudity, and similar content, while 2,870 accounts were banned for promoting terrorism. A total of 1,698 complaints were received through the platform's local grievance mechanism between April 26, 2022, and May 25, 2022, in India.

As per the new IT Rules 2021, WhatsApp also banned over 19 lakh bad accounts in India in May. In April, over 16.6 lakh bad accounts were banned by WhatsApp in India. In May, the company received 528 grievance reports and "acted" on 24 accounts.

A total of 844 grievance reports were received by WhatsApp in April, and 123 of those reports were "actioned" in India.

A monthly compliance report must be published by big digital and social media platforms with more than 5 million users as part of the new IT Rules 2021.

1. Twitter

Twitter has been in the news of late for suspending high-profile accounts, including that of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

The microblogging site has always maintained that it strongly encourages everyone on the service to familiarise themselves with the Twitter Rules and report anything they believe is in violation. So what are the rules and the things that can get your account suspended? We try giving a lowdown on what you should not do if you want to keep your Twitter account active.

Glorifying Violence, Terrorism, and Violent Extremism
A person or group may not be threatened with violence or glorified by violence. Your account will likely be suspended if you do that. Furthermore, you may not threaten or promote terrorism or violent extremism. It is prohibited for users to affiliate with or promote terrorist organizations or violent extremist groups.

Child Sexual Exploitation
Twitter considers child sexual exploitation to be one of its most serious violations. Media, text, illustrations, or computer-generated images may be included. As Twitter rules state, viewing, sharing, or linking to child sexual exploitation material contributes to the re-victimization of the depicted children.

Racism, Hateful Conduct, and More
Users are advised not to use hateful images or symbols in their profile image or profile header. Twitter also prohibits any content that wishes, hopes, promotes, incites, or expresses a desire for death, serious bodily harm, or serious disease against a protected category or any individual who may be a member of that category.

Posting Sensitive Content like Graphic Violence and Adult Content
Twitter rules prohibit users from posting gory or violent content in live videos, profile pictures, or header images. The use of media depicting sexual violence and/or assault is also prohibited. Media depicting death, violence, medical procedures, or serious physical injury in graphic detail is considered graphic violence. According to Twitter guidelines, adult content is any media produced and distributed consensually that is pornographic or intended to arouse sexual interest.

2. Facebook

As far as removing accounts goes, Facebook isn't as well known as Twitter. It is however true that Facebook may respond to some bannable offenses with more than just a warning label.

Misusing Tools and Data
There are three forbidden offenses listed in Facebook's Terms of Service. The first is a collection of actions, which is discussed in more detail in the rest of the article. The second and third are more specific, involving misusing Facebook's tools and data.

Using parts of the site that are supposed to be reserved for developers is prohibited by this common term of service. Furthermore, it prohibits the use of public site tools for malicious purposes, such as spreading viruses and malware using Facebook.

Threats to Public Safety
Facebook disables accounts only when there is a "genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety". It also removes profiles that "proclaim a violent mission or engage in violent activity". The ban of then-president Donald Trump after a riot at the US Capitol in January 2021 was based on this rationale.

Compromising the Security of Other Accounts
"Compromising the security of other accounts and our services" is another rare bannable offense listed by Facebook. A breach of Facebook's security sounds a lot like malware and misuse mentioned in the terms of service. Compromise of other accounts' security, however, suggests doxxing.

Official Facebook guidelines state that Facebook does not remove misinformation, but instead labels it so that it can contribute to dialogue without misleading others. The removal of some suspended accounts, however, is attributed to what Facebook calls "False News".

Several factors may be responsible for this. Facebook, in some cases, also determines that false news is also harmful to personal or public health.

3. WhatsApp

The instant-messaging app WhatsApp, owned by Meta, has the largest user base in India, and Indians reportedly prefer it to SMS. Several major steps have been taken by WhatsApp to stop the spread of misinformation and fake news in India. Additionally, the app alerts users to fake news and spam messages that may be forwarded. Users can report issues through the app. The app may ban your account if a user does any of the prohibited things given below:

Impersonating Someone and Creating a Fake Account of Another Person
If the app finds that you have created an account for someone else and impersonated someone your account may get banned.

Sending Threats or Defamatory Messages Will Lead to an Account Ban
You will lose access to WhatsApp if you send illegal, obscene, defamatory, threatening, intimidating, harassing, hateful messages to other users. The sharing of porn clips on WhatsApp has also been prohibited.

Avoid Sending Fake Messages or Videos That Promote Violence
The account of anyone who promotes violent crimes, endangers or exploits children, harasses people, or coordinates harm will be suspended.

You Can't Send Malware or Phishing Links to Users
WhatsApp may ban your account if you send malware via Android application files or send dangerous phishing links.

4. Instagram

Instagram has undoubtedly grown as one of the most popular social media applications for content creators and influencers. It also offers the biggest social media platform for small to medium-sized e-commerce businesses.

Most creators rely on their Instagram followers for their business, and a sudden ban of their accounts can be devastating. So, let's take a look at some of the significant reasons for an account ban on Instagram.

Posting Violent Content
Just like most other social media platforms one cant post violent content on Instagram. The social media platform has very strict policies against the posting of such content. Instagram may permanently ban your account if you have been sharing violent content repeatedly over a short period. Its algorithm is smart enough to catch violent content whether it is written content or digital media.

Sharing Nudity
As we all know that most of the influencers and models use this platform for self and brand promotions, Instagram also has stricter policies against accounts spreading nudity or sexually explicit content. Instagram won't even approve the content if you are sharing such stories or posts.

Posting Copied Content
Your Instagram account can be banned if you are violating copyright policy. Instagram is very quick in banning the accounts that are reported for posting copied content. Its copyright policies have been tailored to be similar to those of YouTube and Facebook.

User Complaints
Instagram never takes user reports lightly and takes quick actions required to prevent any problems for the users. Thus, user complaints are the primary cause for the permanent ban of an Insta account. The reports made by users against any violations should be authentic and backed with proof.

Bottom line

If you have ever reported content on social media, you'll know that it's hit or miss whether the platform's moderators agree with your assessment of what belongs there. Those who are savvy can exploit a variety of loopholes to get their hands on it - for example, something can be considered in the public interest or to raise awareness, regardless of whether it uses an offensive image or video. Some people can game the system, which is frustrating.


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