Friday, September 14, 2012

Ability to Send Friend Requests Suspended by Facebook

Some people just don't understand how Facebook works. They send out friend requests to people they don't really know.

Why? Because they want to push their opinions and "great content" on others. Because they want to inflate their number of friends, so they feel more popular and influential. Because they think other people could benefit from their posts. I don't know. Could be any number of silly or legitimate reasons.

But "because Facebook listed them in my sidebar as Suggested Friends" is not a good reason. And it can get you in a lot of trouble. You could be considered a malicious spammer. You could even get kicked off Facebook, your account deleted.

It doesn't matter that Facebook "suggested" them as friends or "people you may know". That's just a computer program algorithm that puts those "Suggested Friends" into your sidebar. No human being at Facebook is sitting around thinking, "Hmmm. I wonder who ought to be friends with Steven Edward Streight".

All that matters is how these people have their privacy settings configured and how they react to getting friend requests from strangers. Telling them that "Facebook recommended you as a friend" means nothing to them. They don't know you. It creeps them out. Con artists reassure people that they are "legitimate". You cannot persuade them to give you a chance to prove yourself.

Some people don't want a bunch of friends on Facebook. They use Facebook ONLY to communicate with family, old school mates, and intimate pals. You cannot know this. You cannot guess what their privacy settings are, nor their policy about friend requests from unknown people. Women in particular must be very careful about such things.

Your reassurances and your hopes that they "honor" your friend request means nothing to them. THEY DO NOT KNOW YOU. They don't want you knowing what they post or who they interact with. THEY DO NOT TRUST YOU. Leave them alone.

You cannot win their trust, unless you get introduced to them in the real world.

A friend of mine on Facebook today posted this message:


You know, I'm really GETTING DISGUSTED WITH FACEBOOK again. They keep recommending friends for me to whom I often send a request, or I request someone from our "If You Grew Up in Marion, Illinois" page; these people usually accept almost instantly.

Those are the only ways I am requesting friends these days. I sent several requests within the last couple of days, and now I get a message from Facebook that I am "banned for 14 days from sending Friend Requests for sending friendship requests to people with whom I have few friends in common."

I have no idea who the people are to whom Facebook complains that I have sent such requests. Since they have no Customer Service, there is no way you can find out this information at all. Now Facebook is sending messages that it is against their policy to send friendship requests to people you do not know. Maybe 911, Homeland Security, etc. has caused them to adapt such a policy.


He doesn't understand that it's not Facebook, it's the people. It's not that Facebook doesn't like who he's sending Facebook friend requests to, or at least that's not the entire story. It's the fact that some people are configuring their privacy settings to reject friend requests from people they don't know. They get the friend request, they don't know you, so they report you to Facebook.

All you have to do is send Private Messages to these people and ask them to SEND YOU a friend request. Just change your methodology. Facebook doesn't want you sending friend requests to people you don't really know, no matter what the Suggested Friends list says.

I explained this to my friend, but he still didn't get it, or didn't like it. He responded:


Basically I have always done as you suggested in your first RSVP above except I send the message, tell them who I am, and that Facebook suggested I send them a Friendship Request.

I then say, "I am sending you that request, and I hope you will honor it." That is the only difference between your suggestion and what I have always done. I have sent a complaint to Facebook telling them that I no longer want them to suggest friends for me. I hope they will honor that request.


I then told him "NO NO NO. Do NOT send a private message and a friend request. Send them a private message and ask them to SEND YOU a friend request. Otherwise, you're still considered a spammer or bully."

They don't have to "honor" anything. It's not about "honoring" you. It's about you honoring and respecting their right to privacy. You don't send them a private message warning them that you, a totally unknown person, are about to send them a friend request and they better, by golly, accept it.

Don't get angry at Facebook. Just learn to play by their rules. Learn to respect the fact that some people just aren't into you, no matter how charming, bright, and funny you think you are.

You must stop sending friend requests to strangers whom you assume will like to be friends with you. You must instead send private messages to them and ask that they SEND YOU a friend request. 

But even with this technique, you may still get in trouble if you do it too often.

Facebook is trying to track spammers. If a technique is used too frequently, it will make Facebook think you may be a spammer. Spammers are using every trick they can think of, and what seems to you like a polite method, may be a gimmick that spammers have abused and overused. 

NOTE: I'm not saying that you can't develop nice online relationships with people you don't know, but begin to know a little bit, through sending friend requests to strangers who seem to have a few things in common with you, based on their About/Info page. What I am saying is that you need to be aware of Facebook's rules and the privacy concerns of some people.

If you refuse to comply with Facebook rules, and more people report you as a spammer or stranger they don't know personally, eventually your Facebook account will be deleted.

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