New App Update Adds Shake to Report Feature – No It’s Not Putting Your Friends in Facebook Jail
The latest update to the Facebook app has added a new feature that you may not be aware of and it could be creating some problems for you and your online friends.
I was scrolling through Facebook today when I ran across what appears to be a screenshot of someone else's Facebook post - you know when someone types out a big status update and someone else takes a screenshot and then shares it? It was one of those.
In the screenshot, the original writer claims that the new update to the Facebook app includes a feature where you can shake your phone to report a problem within the app. It goes on to claim that this is the reason that so many people are landing themselves in "Facebook jail." This is where Facebook bans you from creating posts or interacting with other accounts. It can last anywhere from a few hours to days, weeks or even longer. Sometimes it can result in Facebook closing your account entirely.
According to the post, you may be inadvertently reporting your friend's activity, and thereby causing them to go to "Facebook Jail." Now, I will admit - I was skeptical. I haven't seen anything about shaking my phone so naturally, I picked it up and gave it a good shake... and I mean a good shake. I did a little back and forth action but nothing happened. (I have a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra for reference.)
Then I gave it more of a front-to-back sort of shake - tipping the top of my phone towards me and then away from me several times. And that's when it happened! A pop-up at the bottom of the page - "report a technical problem."
So a couple of things here. First, this appears to be a way to report a technical problem and not to report content shared by an individual user. When I select "Report Problem," it takes me to another screen where it asks what issue I am having and Facebook needs to know to replicate the issue. It also automatically generates a screenshot to be included in your report. Again, though it does not appear that the intended purpose of this is to report individual users or their content but rather, to report bug issues that need to be addressed within the app.
When you tap "How to report abuse" it does give you details on how you can make a report for issues you may be having with another user or their content but it does not appear that you can report those issues through this "Shake to report" feature. It seems to be reserved specifically for tech issues.
Now, if you don't like the idea of being able to easy-access the 'Shake to report" feature, you can turn it off either from the prompt pictured about. Just tap that little blue slider dot to the left of where it says, "Shake phone to report a problem," disabling the feature or you can go into your Facebook app settings and disable it there.
As far as the claim that this feature is landing your friends in Facebook jail - I think that is just an internet rumor and not actually true at all. I think this feature is strictly to help make the Facebook app interface as user-friendly as possible by allowing users an easy way to report glitches and bugs experienced within the app.