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26 August 2017

How to get banned from all your favorite apps

You’ve been kicked out of parties, thrown out of concerts, and you are never — NEVER — welcome back to Buffalo Wild Wings.

It seems like the internet should be a refuge from that kind of IRL judgement, but, no, it’s not. There’s a way to get banned from pretty much everything. 

Yes, that includes posting spam and nudity. But also: falling asleep drunk, eating junk food, and talking about bad dates. Here’s a look at the bizarre ways people can get banned from their favorite apps and online services. 

Uber

Keep your pants on

Users can make awkward conversation in an Uber. They can swipe through Tinder while they ride. They just can’t bone in the car. 

“As a reminder, Uber has a no sex rule,” the company says on its website, noting that users shouldn’t “touch or flirt with other people in the car.”

No funny business, people. Other people have to sit in that backseat. 

OpenTable

Don’t ditch

You scored a resy for that hot new avocado toasteria, but then your friend invited you to an artisanal mezcal sound bath, and you just have to go. 

So, you ditch your reservation at the last minute. 

Bad news: That could get you banned from OpenTable. 

If you’re a no-show four times in 12 months, you’re out. Guess you’ll just have to order food from Grubhub. Unless you get banned from that, too. 

Grubhub

Answer the damn door

I get it. You stumble home after a few glasses of frosé, and suddenly you’re starving. 

You order a big plate of pad Thai on Grubhub and lay down on the couch to watch Game of Thrones before your food comes.

Next thing you know, you’ve completely passed out. 

It happens. Do it too many times, however, and Grubhub will freeze your account. 

The company says that’s because it’s looking to root out “fraudulent activity.”

Luckily, chances are you can get your account reinstated. You’ll just have to explain that you left your delivery person stranded outside because you were passed out in your living room. 

Venmo 

Keep it legal

A paper trail is the last thing people should want when paying for illegal goods and services. And yet, a recent survey of 1,000 millennials found that around a third of them had used Venmo to pay for drugs

I mean, people can do what they want — but maybe don’t label payments, “For drugs.” Those kinds of transactions are explicitly prohibited by Venmo, and it can ban accounts because of them. 

People should at least try to hide what they’re doing. 

“For like, totally legal stuff.” 

There you go. 

Tinder

Don’t ask for money

One easy way to get banned from Tinder is to be a raging asshat. Also, asking for money. 

For obvious reasons, Tinder doesn’t want people asking for cash on its app. But even doing it as a joke can get you banned. 

Earlier this year, Maggie, a 20-year-old from St. Louis, Missouri, asked dudes to “send her $5 and see what happens” in her profile. When guys would PayPal her the money, she’d simply unmatch with them. 

The whole point was to expose how disgusting guys can be online (she told BuzzFeed that one out of five guys who asked about her profile sent her money), but Tinder wasn’t amused and shut down her account. 

You also can’t put “Venmo me” in your profile, which is a surprisingly common joke, according to Twitter users complaining about being banned from Tinder.

Yelp

Too much information

“The salad had an appropriate amount of dressing.” 

That’s an example of a perfectly fine thing to write in a Yelp review. 

“Went on a date here in 2008 to see The Happening with my high school boyfriend. I gave him a handjob in the theater and he took forever and my arm got tired. 1 star.”

That’s not. Actress Natalie Walker wrote that last year (along with other hilarious bad date reviews) and ended up getting banned. Apparently, lewd language and rambling stories that have nothing to do with “personal consumer experiences with local businesses” aren’t allowed. 

I personally think lurid accounts of terrible dates are 1,000 times more interesting than the average Yelp review, but, hey, that’s just me. 

Twitch

Don’t eat like crap

Even gamers need to eat. So last year, Twitch introduced “social eating,” which is popular with its users in South Korea. 

Basically, people cook and eat meals in front of a webcam. Fun … I guess? It’s like having your own cooking show, and then sitting down to eat the meal with your internet friends. 

But don’t you dare eat a Snickers bar. Or shotgun a beer. Or cram hot dogs in your mouth like Joey Chestnut and vomit all over your apartment.  

For social eating videos, Twitch’s community guidelines prohibit “primarily eating junk food,” “binge drinking,” chowing down on pet food, and stuffing your face in a manner “that might inflict harm upon yourself or lead to vomiting.”

Violate those restrictions too many times, and you could end up indefinitely suspended from the site. 

To recap: 

Cooking up a delicious hamburger and eating it with your best friend. 👍

Taking shot after shot of Jägermeister while eating a bag of Doritos. 👎 

Nextdoor

Be a good neighbor

There’s a reason so many Twilight Zone episodes involve paranoid neighbors turning on each other.

People get real edgy when it comes to their personal space. Throw in racism, classism, and concern over property values, and you’ve got a perfect storm for dickish behavior. 

So it makes sense that Nextdoor — a site that connects IRL neighbors — would be home to some pretty terrible behavior. 

Which would explain why there’s so, so many ways to get banned from Nextdoor, and plenty of people complaining about their accounts getting suspended. 

The service can suspend your account for violating its community guidelines, which prohibit “ranting,” “dominating or hijacking conversations,” and talking about non-local politics and “controversial issues.”

So … basically everything that happens on the internet. 

A spokesperson from Nextdoor said that while the site’s community guidelines “are relatively broad compared to many other social media sites,” only a fraction of a percent of users are currently banned. 

The good news is that “in all but the most extreme cases,” users are given a second chance to get their accounts reinstated.  

Postmates

Don’t be cheap

You are not the first person to think of creating a bunch of Postmates accounts to get coupons for new users. 

For some reason, Postmates didn’t want to comment on the matter, but it seems pretty clear from social media posts that it’s a big no-no. 

Ello

Lol, just kidding.

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