Facebook Blocking Friend Requests

November 1, 2010 · 126 comments

in Facebook

Facebook Blocking Friend RequestsFacebook Blocking Friend Requests, Creating More Privacy and Networking Headaches!

Fairly recently I had a post titled, “Are These Two Facebook Profile Permissions Limiting Your Networking Ability?” where I outlined two easy-to-overlook privacy settings that could be impairing your networking ability.

Today’s post includes one more, but this setting is not the only cause of a similar appearing problem so I saved it for this post.

This is going to be a long post – with a lot of pictures – so if you’re short on time you may want to skim it, however, this is a really serious topic and because of how it affects those of us doing business on Facebook I think you will find it worth a full reading. (And if you find it useful please share it!)

What It Looks Like When Facebook Blocks A Friend Request

Upon filling out the “Add As Friend” Dialog Box, when Facebook blocks a friend request, you get greeted by this little popup box that politely tells you to get lost.

Facebook Blocking Friend Requests

Why Is Facebook Blocking Friend Requests?

There are TWO very different reasons that Facebook blocks a friend request and does not allow you to connect with an individual. (Three if you include the occasional server hiccup.)

1. The Person You Are Trying To Connect With Has Their Request Permissions Restricted In Their Privacy Settings (accidental or intentional)

2. Facebook Has Flagged You As A “Potentially Annoying Person” And Is Trying To Prevent Spamming (often over-zealously)

I should note too that we have also seen cases that we cant establish that it is either of these two answers, so more factors may be at work.

So… Ummm… Which Situation Are We Dealing With?

When you get the dreaded popup message, the first thing you want to do is to scroll down their  profile and see if you can find out if you have any friends in common.

The problem is that if they have restricted their profile access, they may have hid this piece of information.

Using the appearance or lack of friend box, blended with some logic of whether you believe you have friends in common, you need to solve whether its likely that you do not.

If you do not have any friends in common (most likely), then the answer most likely lays not in Facebook blocking the friend request, but in that person’s privacy permissions.

Working Around Facebook Blocking Friend Requests Because The User Asked Them To Do So (aka Permission Settings)

Assuming you do in fact know the person you are trying to friend – AND – assuming that they have not done the unfortunate thing of disabling messaging from non-friends… then you will need to send them a message explain what is going on.

You can ask them to send YOU a friend request if your permissions are more open than theirs.

You may however want to explain to them why Facebook blocked the friend request on their behalf..

Here is a screenshot of the permissions that are responsible.

They can be found under Account -> Privacy Settings -> Basic Directory Information -> View Settings

Facebook Blocking Friend Requests

Here you can see all three privacy settings that are impacting in some way our ability to either connect or at least solve this riddle.

“Send me messages” and “Send me friend requests” both lack the “Customize” selection that might make it easy for us to add some sort of exception.

In an example that has happened to me, a  lovely gal that had engaged repeatedly on my fan page (and we even got to meet face to face yesterday!) was someone I looked forward to connecting as a friend with…. yet sending her a request got me the dreaded “bugger off” box! LOL Since she and I have no common friends it is very likely permission based on her side as, after I sent her a real email, she was able to easily friend me. (When she gets back from her traveling I’ll be sending this page to her!)

Working Around Facebook Blocking Your Friend Requests Because You Are A “Potentially Annoying Person”

This one is not so easy…

If we check out the Help Center, this is what Facebook has to say about why Facebook is Blocking Friend Requests:

Some research has indicated that there can be a number of factors leading to why Facebook is Blocking Friend Requests this way:

1. If you have sent a large number of friend requests and not had them answeredyou will likely find you have been temporarily blocked from sending any more. This appears to include “completely un-responded to” requests as well as “ignored”, “declined”, “not now” and “I don’t know this person”. Logic would indicate that “I don’t know this person” would be a heavier offense than simply no response/action at all, but we can not confirm that at this time.

2. While not mentioned by Facebook - there is a strong theory that this flag also shows up when there is a high number of unanswered Friend Invites sitting in our invite box. We do not know however if this includes the new “Not Now” set ones (which remain in our invite box, just in a different area).  We are not real sure what the details are on this but it appears the be the only one that fits as a common denominator when we can not find other reasons that this spammer/annoyance flag would be up.

Temporarily blocked could mean as little as 24 hours but seems to be more like a week or two in practice. This is likely due to taking some time for the number of unanswered requests to fall to an “acceptable” level.

I personally have sent less than 200 invites in the last six months, majority of which – since they included a message indicating how I knew or knew of the person – have been accepted. Yet, I have been repeatedly flagged and unable to send invites.

Even more confusing was when a Facebook server hiccup caused a bunch of my previously declined requests to return to my invite box, I was unable to DECLINE the invite… why? Because apparently I did not know the person! W-T-F!

So as you can see, sometimes Facebook blocking friend requests doesn’t always go as anyone plans!

So what to do?

Well, as in the prior case, the answer is to get in contact with the individual and have them attempt to send YOU a request. Again, assuming you do know them and assuming that they have not blocked Facebook Messaging from non-friends, this USUALLY solves it. (Although in the case of two marketers, it is possible for both individuals to be in in the time out box!)

How To Stay Out Of The Penalty Box that Leads To Facebook Blocking Your Friend Request Attempts?

While we stressed the importance before, it is now ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE that you send a message along with your friend invite using the “Send Message” link that is part of the “Add As Friend” Dialog Box.

(Please note, this link will be missing if (again) the individual has disabled messages from non friends)

(The “Send A Message” link isn’t present once its been clicked and the message form has been opened, but generally it would be in the bottom left corner of this popup.)

I personalized message goes a LONG way towards getting your friend request accepted (even by those who are relatively close to the friend cap) and will help minimize the time you will spend in the penalty box.

Facebook blocking friend requests is their way of interrupting the old poor behavior of mass-inviting 50-100 people per day from a group/page.

Also, be sure that as long as you’re not at the friend cap that you clean out your request box somewhat regularly (even though I still do not recommend fussing with it more than once a week unless you see a request from someone you  know) just as a precaution.

Summary

So that is the full extent of what we know or our “best guess” on any non-bug behavior regarding Facebook blocking friend requests.

As you can see, the causes are quite different but the workaround remains the same.

I can’t stress enough to always be sure to send a message with your friend request… always, always, always, always…. did I mention always? ;)

Building to the 5,000 cap needs to be done carefully, strategically, and with attention to maximizing relationships and minimizing spammy “mass-adding” behavior.

Facebook blocking friend requests can certainly be annoying but understanding what’s triggering it can go a long way towards helping you keep it to a minimum and work around it when it happens.

I hope this helps you deal with the annoying “please get lost” popup that indicates Facebook is blocking YOUR friend requests!

Like it? Love it? Agree? Disagree? Know of something I missed? Leave me your thoughts below, I look forward to reading them! If you found this post helpful, I hope that you will share it with others so that they too can understand this incredibly frustrating issue! Thank you in advance for your comments and shares, I greatly appreciate them!

Kimberly

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126 comments
Aswin As
Aswin As

help me... I'm blocked from sending friend requests permanently :( . What do I do now? Is there any way to recover from this?

Fakhrul Alam
Fakhrul Alam

From your article i have learned a lot of things?

I have a question, at the present time do you know how many days are left to get unblocked from facebook, cause facebook said that I am blocked for 30 days, is there any way to check how many days left if you forget when it will as blocked

I am sure you might know the way

Thanks

Alam

Mark
Mark

I sent a friend request to someone, but they weren't online for several days. I kept checking a couple of people i was still waiting to accept and i usually use the Activity log to do this. It had been five days so they had moved right down the "log". So i thought i would cancel the requests and re-add them so they move back up to the top. The first one worked fine, but on the second i got the pop-up box. I've been able to add a few other people since, but it still won't let me add that person. It's quite annoying. I'm just now wondering how long i'll have to wait before it lets me add them again.

Garry Gray
Garry Gray

When will I be unblocked from FB 7 day penalty!

Garry
Garry

When I'm I going to be able to be unblocked from Facebook its been over 7 days penalty.

Garry Gray

Garry
Garry

Facebook says I did to many friend request I'm only trying to get my friends back that I had I can't get my original FB timeline don't know what happened to it. What makes the difference if you do one a day or more . They all were my friends! Its been more then 7 days and I'm still blocked what can I do it won't let me in I've already had over 7 days blocked how can Facebook unlock my browser Thanks!

Garry Gray

Marilo
Marilo

I cant access my facebook account anymore. It says " Something went wrong. Please try again later. " the fb security sucks..

penny
penny

hello i dont understand why im being blocked for sending friend requests to people i do know really well i dont understand why people get punished for not doing anything wrong that way why do they block people from adding friends that a person knows really well ?

i would like answers as to why for so long being blocked even if your not adding anyone there should be no blockage at all thank you ! i was hoping they would lift the ban off of me being blocked i havent done anything wrong and i wont cancel any requests just because i know people and i should have the right to add them as friends who i talk to all the time as well .

William Kirk
William Kirk

What's also maddening about this is that a new facebook user will have zero friends in common with anyone, resulting in this banning **** happening no matter what. That's what happened to me. I made ONE friend request to ONE person I know in real life (and in the message accompanying the friend request, I simply wrote "We should hang out again. Peace. :)" - the word AGAIN makes it painfully clear I know her!), and facebook had the nerve to stop my friend requesting ability because I don't share friends with the person I friend requested. Well, no ****, facebook! It's a NEW account! Of course, my NEW account has zero friends! What the **** does facebook expect me to do? No matter who I send a friend request to, I'm going to send a friend request to someone with whom I don't share any friends! To make it even clearer, about a month ago, I called her and she recognized me immediately by my voice - SHE knows ME as well! This is the biggest bull **** ever, and I hope the people running facebook get exactly what they deserve - which I doubt I can say what that entails on this site without getting banned from this site, but I assure you, it would be just through and through. >:(

john
john

I'm so pissed off at face book for blocking me from sending requests to my family members. The do you know these people on a list will pop up on face book and when you send a request, face book BLOCKS you from sending out more request even if it is family members.

Kishan Basfore
Kishan Basfore

If you don't change your behavior, you could be permanently blocked from sending friend requests.

Curtis
Curtis

I've been sent to the cancel pending friend requests page, but whenever I press cancel requests, it just takes me back to the home page in an endless loop of repetition

Help me!!

Donna Merrill
Donna Merrill

So that's what it looks like when I block those people lol.

This is great if I run into trouble. Booked marked this just in case!

Thanks Kim, Once again!!!

Josie Spriggs
Josie Spriggs

I keep getting blocked because the people from my church don't answer my requests because they didnt go on that much. My brother is out to sea for weeks at a time so I had a few not answered but please 14 day grounding. That is so not fair. I know everyone I invited. I hate there is no where to defend yourself, no where to voice your opinion on the whole thing. If I was doing something wrong but I'm not. Anyway im done complaining . Not that it will do any good. When I'm ungrounded ill send message to invite me then I won't get slapped around.

shalini gupta
shalini gupta

my facebook account is block plz open my account plz hurry up.

Mia Gibson
Mia Gibson

hello kim i am able to send friend request now on facebook and make new friends on facebook now and i am happy i am not being blocked any more from sending friend request and i was blocked from sending friend request last year alot sincerly mia gibson

arpon
arpon

sir Friend Requests Blocked for 30 Days .plis sad toFriend Requests

Donna Merrill
Donna Merrill

Hi Kim,

Well, this certainly came in handy at the right time for me! I'm having so much trouble at this time with Facebook and need to implement this.

My FB right now needs a good cleaning. I feel as though I want to hire "merry maids" for Facebook lol!

There have been too many spammers and those "friends" of friends, until I found a way to block them.

Once again, thank you for showing me how to do this.

Donna

Ishmael Successful Sandy
Ishmael Successful Sandy

I have just been inform that my friend request has been blocked and i dont want that to happen because i have friends,classmates,family member that i want to add and without the feature of adding a friend i feel facebook being needless to me.Please help me to unblock my friend request or should i open a new account?.

Emre
Emre

this is the 2nd time I am being blocked from adding friends I have only added people I know or go to school with. I am not a spammer please fix this NOW !

wallace jr
wallace jr

the spam reported under my name was me myself hitting wrong button,you should not be blocking me from adding friends,your tatally wrong on this one.----------wallace jr connolly

Andre
Andre

I have been barred for 30 days from sending friend requests!!!

ikbal
ikbal

hi kim i am facebook user but me whats hapnings i like to send a request more people known unknown becoz i like to make freindship but between week getting a block freind request but let me know how should i unblock do you have any gud way so plz advise me thank you

kimone anderson
kimone anderson

i am not a spammer are on annoying person i meet rebekah yesterday so i need to get back and my profile plz .

faye Ngiangia
faye Ngiangia

Hi, Kim!

Hi kim,

Please tell me how to override blocking of friend requests through the web browser Firefox. I’m tired of being blocked constantly even if I’m searching for close friends or people that share my personal interests… Thanks for your concern about this lousy issue.

faye Ngiangia
faye Ngiangia

the information is good but unblock me because i am not a spammer. Besides i was not adequately informed about this guide lines until now. on a very serious note if a friends request is blogged temporally for any reason it should exceed more four hours since it is temporary block. secondly, blocking of friends request should not prevent person from accessing his friends.

buy premium domain
buy premium domain

Hi,

I have trying to activate my fb friends rqst but it is not working

Arpita Nundy
Arpita Nundy

I confirm that you I am not a spammer. Please unblock my friends request.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Arpita Nundy.

asadali
asadali

Every time when i sent friend request to anyone its showing your friend request blocked for 30 days..how can i resolved it.

ANDRES CARRASQUILLO MERCED
ANDRES CARRASQUILLO MERCED

Hi, Kim!

Please tell me how to override blocking of friend requests through the web browser Firefox. I'm tired of being blocked constantly even if I'm searching for close friends or people that share my personal interests... Thanks for your concern about this lousy issue.

vipul yadav
vipul yadav

please undo blocking of friend request in my facebook account.

Vicky Lambos
Vicky Lambos

Thank you for the information here i have the same problem fb block not to make any friends for 14 days ..... :(

linda
linda

hello.A lot of people..also them who have me in common can't add me on FB , I have seen to much friends with my eyes trying to add but nothing... some friends send me messages..to add them. ... they couldn't add me.I don't know what to do...This appears ----------->

Friend requests are for people you know, like classmates, friends, family and coworkers. Please don’t send this friend request unless you know this person personally.

Anne O. Nimous
Anne O. Nimous

Au contraire! . FB is interested in targeted marketing, and for that they want to know real information about your life, and does not include "friends" that you do not know. We can agree to act like good domesticated animals or We can counteract their effort by befriending everyone and anyone. Hidden among the 5000 will be the 20 people I really care about. Maybe that number is 200 or even 200 for you, but the point is that facebook will have no way of knowing who they are (well, unless you use their pre-designed friend groupings). If you send me friend request, I will gladly accept. George A. Sloan

Ray Manoj Jain
Ray Manoj Jain

Will cancelling unanswered friend requests shorten the blocking period?

Chris Leer
Chris Leer

i want to know why is facebook still want us to stop using this tool and the reason we have to wait 30 days because my friend request was blocked when i was supposed to send a friend request to someone and if this keeps up i will use myspace or other site but they do need to do something.

stephen wartley
stephen wartley

If u blocking for my friend I don't wit to have Facebook' Stephen wartley unlock me please or stop my app please

facebook_donaldwaynebrown
facebook_donaldwaynebrown

Mr. Zuckerberg: http://www.facebook.com/zuck

These must be very busy times for you and your business, given the pending IPO, the relocation and the new round of hiring. I understand all of that.

However, there is an issue that I believe would be in your best interest, and that of your company, to resolve in a timely manner.

It concerns blocking friend requests for no apparent reason. Spamming, stalking and other unwanted practices--you don't want any of that at the 'Book and frankly, I can't blame you in the least. The unfortunate, and unintended, consequence of your efforts to clamp down on those practices are these unnecessary friend-request blocks.

What I ask is that you (or whoever does the engineering work if it isn't you) remove the block from my account in a timely manner, so that I may go about my business in a manner I see fit.

It would also be in the best interest of your company to look into setting up some sort of customer service department. I'm more than certain this isn't the only issue on the 'Book, but I hope this one gets resolved sooner rather than later.

Thank you for reading.

ganeshkumar
ganeshkumar

then y the hell this FB giving me peoples you may know...

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

If the email you received from Facebook explaining the punishment stated permanently - then it is indeed permanent.

Kim

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

There's no way to check that directly. However, go dig up the email that FB sent you when they blocked you - if they sent one - and you'll have a date stamp of when it started.

Kim

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Usually they send you an email that tells you how long you're in the penalty box for. It's usually 3 days but can be 10 or 21. I definitely recommend not doing a rapid send-remove-resend method as thats considered being obnoxious and aggressive and almost always gets you flagged.

Kim

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Sounds like a bug. You might try using a different browser to see if it's just a caching hiccup. Or it may be a very real bug. There are a lot of site-wide bugs at the moment due to how many changes are being rolled out to Facebook this month!

Kim

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Hey Faye, sorry there is no way to do that. And unfortunately, even if there were (I've honestly not seen one) publication of it would be considered circumventing security of a website which is a criminal offense in most countries.

Kim

faye Ngiangia
faye Ngiangia

i am really sorry for what is happening and i promise it will not happen again because i have learn my lessons . i promise that mistake will not be made again. i am sorry, i mean am sorry but please allow me access my friends. thank you

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Andres, unfortunately there is no useful way to override it. All of us are having to deal with this annoyance. It's Facebook having their spam filter set much too tightly and punishing everyone. It's gotten rather old I'm afraid.

If you manually override the block - and you are already flagged - you're at incredibly high risk for having your account terminated. I would NOT suggest doing that.

Kim

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Ray, it's certainly worth trying but I've heard mixed answers on whether it's helping consistently.

Kim

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Donald, I truncated your post. You may not realize you are posting on my own personal blog and there is no official connection or communication connection between this site and Facebook, Inc. Certainly not Mark himself. I'm merely relaying what I've learned from trial and error in dealing with this problem myself. Please don't shoot the messenger, LOL

Kim