What You Can’t Do on Facebook
Facebook is meant to represent real people and real associations; it’s also meant to be safe. Many of the rules of participation on Facebook exist to uphold those two goals. The rules here may change how you use Facebook, but probably won’t change whether you use it.
There are things you can’t do on Facebook other than those listed here. For example, you can’t send multiple unsolicited messages to people you’re not friends with; you can’t join the school network of a school you didn’t attend (or a workplace network of a company you don’t work for); and you can’t spin straw into gold.
You can’t lie: Okay, you can, but you shouldn't, especially not about your basic information. Lying about your identity is a violation of the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and grounds for your Profile being disabled. Although many people try, Facebook doesn’t let anyone sign up with an obviously fake name like Marilyn Manson or Fakey McFakerson. Those who do make it past the name checks will likely find their account flagged and disabled.
You can’t be twelve: Or younger. Seriously. Facebook takes very seriously the U.S. law that prohibits minors under the age of 13 from creating an online Profile for themselves. This rule is in place for the safety of minors, and it's a particular safety rule that Facebook takes extremely seriously. If you or someone you know on Facebook is under 13, deactivate (or make them deactivate) the account now. If you’re reported to the Facebook user operations team and they confirm that you are underage, your account will be disabled.
You can’t troll or spam: On the Internet, trolling refers to posting deliberately offensive material to websites in order to get people upset. Spamming refers to sending out bulk promotional messages. If you do either of these things on Facebook, there’s a good chance your account will get shut down.
The logic for this is that Facebook is about real people and real connections. It is one thing to message a mutual friend or the occasional stranger whose Profile implies being open to meeting new people if the two of you have matching interests. However, between Facebook’s automatic detection systems and user-generated reports, sending too many unsolicited messages is likely to get your account flagged and disabled.
Similarly, Facebook aims to be a trusted environment for people to exchange ideas and information. If people deliberately disturb the peace with pornographic, hateful, or bullying content, that trust is pretty much broken.
You can’t upload illegal content: Facebook Users live in virtually every country in the world, so Facebook is often obligated to respect the local laws for its users. Respecting these laws is something Facebook has to do regardless of its own position on pornography (where minors can see it), copyrighted material, hate speech, depictions of crimes, and other offensive content. However, doing so is also in line with Facebook’s value of being a safe, happy place for people 13 and older. Don’t confuse this with censorship; Facebook is all about freedom of speech and self-expression, but the moment that compromises anyone’s safety or breaks any law, disciplinary action is taken.