» “Your account is temporarily blocked” How the accounts of competitors are blocked

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25 December 2020
“Your account is temporarily blocked” How the accounts of competitors are blocked

Nowadays almost every company has a website or an account on social networks.  It helps promote your product, build brand awareness and reputation, and communicate with the buyers.  With this in mind, competition has moved to the Internet and some companies are not ready to play fair games.

We do not welcome or support such methods of competition.  And yet, to understand how to defend against attacks from competitors online, you need to know how it works.

How social media ban accounts

Each social network has its own policy for users, which spells out what can and cannot be done.

For all social networks, it is important that the platform is used by real users for the purpose of communication,receiving information or advertising. Social networks demand that users treat each other with respect, don’t try to deceive or harm each other.

Below you will find links to the policies and rules of several social networks:

Most often, there are two types of bans on social networks: temporary and permanent.

A temporary ban can last from several hours to several months. Blocking for a short period is applied if the violations were not very serious, for example, if there was suspicious activity on the page. Usually it is removed after a certain period of time or after the correction of violations.

An eternal ban is used if the account has committed serious violations or if there have been repeated violations. For example, if the account owner deceives users of a social network or uses their personal data for personal gain.

Knowing why social networks block users, some unscrupulous people and companies are trying to use this against their competitors.

How competitors blok accounts

Below we list the main methods used against competitors. In reality, there are many more.

Bots in subscribers. This is one of the easiest and most popular ways to reduce the frequency of a competitor’s content in search results. This can also lead to a ban of his account.

The company uses bots and raises the subscribers of the competitor’s page. For example, in 2 days the number of subscribers raises from 10,000 to 100,000. We know that if there is some kind of noise or news feed around the company, the interest of the audience can grow naturally. But here it is important to understand who exactly will subscribe to the page.

In a separate article, we have already written how Facebook distinguishes real users from bots. Other social networks work according to similar criteria.

A large increase of real users is great. A large increase of bots is a disaster. Since some users, in order to attract attention, buy bots themselves, first of all the social network will think that it was the owner of the account who paid for new subscribers.

At best, all fake subscribers will simply be removed. At worst, the page can be blocked. If the violation was noticed for the account for the first time, a temporary block may be applied to the account. To remove it, you will need to check the entire list of subscribers and remove bots. We have listed the main criteria for distinguishing a bot from a human in a separate article.

Some companies keep their profiles private to avoid attacks from aggressive commentators and bots. So it turns out to filter incoming subscribers and quickly remove incorrect users from the community. However, in this case, you will need to separately invest in advertising on social networks, otherwise, it will be more difficult for real buyers to find you.

If you’ve noticed a sudden increase in subscribers that look more like bots, it’s best to take action right away. On the one hand, remove all followers that look more like bots. On the other hand, you can directly contact the social network and inform that you have nothing to do with such an increase. If the social network is foreign, it is better to write your message in English.

Massive content complaints. Another common way to lead to account blocking is massive content complaints. Usually, if there are many complaints about a particular publication, this can lead to a ban of the account until the end of the proceedings. Moreover, even if the content of the account does not violate any rules of the social network.

The logic of the social network is: “Since there are a lot of complaints, it means that something is wrong with the content. For reinsurance, we will first ban the account and then we will figure out what was wrong”.

Mass complaints are created in a variety of ways. These can be both complaints from bots and calls in some chats “this bad-bad user deceived me, let’s punish and block him.” Not all users are ready to figure out who is right and who is wrong, so they just attack the account with complaints. As a result, the account is blocked, and the owner spends time to unblock the account. At the same time, if complaints come exclusively from bots, the social network will see this and then the probability of blocking will be lower.

If the company really has content that violates some social network rules, then a few complaints from real users will be enough to block it.

To protect yourself from this, you can make the profile private. But then again, there is a risk that it will be more difficult for some of your audience to find you: since the user cannot see your content, he does not know whether it is worth following you or not.

Contacting a social network with a complaint about a company. Some companies stop at nothing to fight their competitors. So, on the network, you can find examples of situations when, in order to harm the main competitor, the company turned directly to the social network and provided documents, according to which the competitor allegedly deceived them and provided low-quality products or completely deceived them. In response, the social network blocked the account of the company that received complaints.

When the company tried to improve its reputation and provide evidence that there were no violations on its part and all the accusatory documents were falsified, the social network reported that the situation would not be dealt with and the parties needed to resolve the problem between themselves.

There are companies on the network that provide services to deteriorate a competitor’s reputation, block its accounts and sites. Likewise, there are companies and individuals who are ready to help with unlocking your account. Be careful with both, cause there is no guarantee that they won’t fool you.