Rejected Facebook friend requests can follow you anyway

By on September 21, 2010, 12:00 PM
Facebook has tweaked the functionality of its friend requests, changing the way friend rejections work, according to All Facebook. Instead of being able to either Confirm or Ignore a request, you can now only choose between Confirm and Not Now. The new wording is more polite, since the requesters are neither accepted nor rejected, but the consequences are worrying. When someone requests to be your friend on Facebook, he or she is now automatically subscribed to all of your public posts in their News Feed. In other words, by replacing Ignore with Not Now, Facebook has created its own version of Twitter's follow feature.

You can still reject someone, but it's no longer easy. After you click the Not Now button, you're asked whether you know them, and if you say No they are blocked and can no longer make further friend requests. If you say yes, you can still deny a person's request without blocking them, but you'll have to explicitly navigate to the Facebook Requests page, which isn't easy to find (it's in Friends > Find Friends). With this change, Facebook has turned a one-step process into a multiple-step process that is much more confusing, but ends up giving the site much more traffic.

Since most users are probably not going to bother with all those clicks, simply hitting the Not Now button and forgetting about it, most people sending friend requests will end up as followers. Of course, all the information that is seen by these followers is already public, but this change is making that information visible from their News Feed; they no longer have to go out of their way and navigate to your profile to see it.

This tweak solves the issue of constant friend requests that keep getting rejected, but it creates a much bigger potential issue that some users might not like. This is an excellent time to go review your Facebook privacy settings to make sure they are strict enough so that this won't be an issue for you.





User Comments: 12

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Guest said:

This is why I don't use social networking sites, it's a giant privacy and personal information nightmare.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I'm probably one of the few that would love to watch facebook burn.

Recycle said:

What is defined as 'public posts'? Currently I have it set that only friends can see most of my updates. The other options are 'friends of friends' and 'everyone', so I don't really see an issue as long as facebook privacy still respects that's 'only friends' option I have set. Not that I know if they do, but here's hoping at least.

Emil said:

Recycle said:

What is defined as 'public posts'? Currently I have it set that only friends can see most of my updates. The other options are 'friends of friends' and 'everyone', so I don't really see an issue as long as facebook privacy still respects that's 'only friends' option I have set. Not that I know if they do, but here's hoping at least.

If you set it to "only friends" then you are fine.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Not that I know if they do, but here's hoping at least.

I guess in this matter hoping something like this from an 'ethical' perspective is pointless, they'll do whatever they can 'from business point of view', as long as they can get away with it and make some $$$$ along the way.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Facebook has done it yet again...taken a simple privacy process and made it difficult by hiding it. And it seems like any time someone finds the hidden egg, a few months later they hide it somewhere else. I can't remember how many times they moved around the different privacy settings. Why doesn't Facebook just go ahead and do it...turn off all privacy settings and not allow its users to access them. At the rate they're going, it's bound to happen if they don't crash and burn first. Unfortunately, they won't crash and burn until something better comes along...

tengeta tengeta said:

Hey, at least its politically correct and no one will have their internet feelings hurt.

HA!

Guest said:

I have just one thing to say about this nonsense... DIASPORA FTW!!!

\at least, they seem more privacy-concerned...

Guest said:

Where did you get the information about the public news feed being visible to someone that you did not confirm as a friend?

Guest said:

You know what shocks me? Why the hell do people join a social networking site if they want to keep their lives so private? You know what? If it's on the internet, it's not private! You can erase it you can manipulate it whatever...it's not private, if you are on facebook or twitter, or wherever. People can find you and read what you wrote. If it's that private, don't post it. Don't say it. Who cares? Do you really think that people have the time to track you all over hell anyway? If you want to make your mark write it post it! If you have something to say be bold don't hide! I used "Guest" on the website because it was easier but I have no problem posting this exact same message on my blog!

Guest said:

This is a really annoying feature!! It means that unless I go through all those clicks, I can't get rid of these "Hidden Requests". Being mildly OCD, I like to get rid of all requests and invitations so that my homepage is nice and neat, and it was much easier before.

I also get an obscene amount of event invitations, and now FB has made it so you cannot go to the Requests page and see the list of event invites, but its now in the sidebar, so you now can't see the whole event title unless you click on it. This makes it so much longer to sort out the events I want to go to, and the ones I don't want to. Also, as a polite person, if someone invites me to their birthday party or something like that, and I've got something else on, I would rather remove the invite than say "no" and show up on the Declined Invites list, so seeing the whole event title is helpful there.

**** you Mark Zuckerberg!

Guest said:

I ready to rid myself of this incredible tool htat has become a terrible mess

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