Facebook 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.
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
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 answered – you 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.
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!
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