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Issue 127 - March 2012 (2nd Edition) - Page 5

Friend Request Facebook Ban Warning

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Circulating Facebook post warns that users are getting suspended or banned from Facebook because people they have sent friend requests to have clicked "No" in response to the question "Do you know this person?"

Brief Analysis
It is true that Facebook users can be temporarily blocked from sending further friend requests if requests they have sent have been marked as unwelcome or gone unanswered. However, this warning message is nevertheless misleading and inaccurate. Blocks are generally temporary and only stop people from sending friend requests and messages until the block is lifted.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

Last updated: 12th March 2012
First published: 12th March 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
Research by Steve Williamson, David White, Brett Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer

VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ: Nice people are getting banned from facebook and it could happen to you, too - the reason is because when you get a friend request, if you click the "not now" button, you will automatically recieve a request from Facebook saying, "Do you know this person?" if you click no, that person will automatically be suspended from group chats, blocked from sending friend requests, and other nasty things for 7-30 days, and if it happens enough - permanently. So please.. if you get an unwanted friend request, just ignore it. If you accidentally click the "not now" button, then ignore the request from facebook asking if you know them - do not respond to it. Please pass this around so we can protect our friends (and ourselves!).

Facebook Friend Request Ban Warning

Detailed Analysis
According to this message, which is circulating rapidly around Facebook, "nice" people are getting banned from Facebook because of the way other users are responding to their friend requests. The message claims that if a user clicks the "Not Now" button in response to a friend request and then clicks "No" in answer to the question "Do you know this person?", the sender of the request will automatically be blocked from sending further friend requests and have other account restrictions imposed.

It is certainly true that users who send friend requests to people they do not know can be temporarily blocked from sending further such requests. In its Help Center FAQ, Facebook notes:
Why am I blocked from sending friend requests?

Your account is temporarily blocked from sending friend requests because friend requests youíve sent have gone unanswered or been marked as unwelcome. From now on, please donít send friend requests to people you donít know personally. Facebook is a place for connecting with friends, family, classmates, coworkers and other people you know well.
However, the suggestion in the warning that the offending user will also be suspended from using other account functionality is unfounded. Another Facebook FAQ notes:
Can I still use the rest of Facebook during this block?

Yes. Your account is only blocked from sending friend requests and messages to people you donít know. This block is temporary, and you can still use other Facebook features during it.
Facebook may disable a user's account for a variety of reasons, including "Continued prohibited behavior after receiving a warning or multiple warnings from Facebook". Perhaps, a user who has been blocked multiple times for sending unwelcome and unwanted friend requests or messages might eventually have his or her account disabled. However, there is no evidence to suggest that people are being regularly and commonly banned from Facebook just for sending unwanted friend requests.

Moreover, the advice in the message to simply ignore all unwanted friend requests in order to "protect" other users is hardly sensible. Receiving large numbers of unwanted friend requests can be annoying and intrusive. And, given that sending requests to people that you do not know personally is against Facebook's stated guidelines, it does not seem unreasonable that repeat offenders may be temporarily blocked from such activity.

The best way to avoid the temporary block described above is to refrain from sending friend requests to people you do not know. If you have already received such a block, Facebook has published guidelines for avoiding further blocks in the future.

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Why am I blocked from sending friend requests?
Can I still use the rest of Facebook during this block?
I am blocked or disabled
What can I do to make sure I donít get blocked from adding friends again?

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Issue 127 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Pointless and Exploitive 'Share if You Are Against Child Abuse' Facebook Post
  2. Little Girl With Huge Belly Facebook Donation Hoax
  3. Malware Emails
  4. BlackBerry Messenger Resend to Save Account Hoax
  5. Friend Request Facebook Ban Warning
  6. Arwa Has Now Been Found - Help find Missing Girl Arwa Message
  7. Hoax - Nagasaki Arch Survives Both Atomic Bomb and Tsunami
  8. Pharmacy Spam Emails Purport to be From YouTube
  9. False Warning - Do Not Add 'Jason Lee' Because Its a Virus
  10. 'Wolf' Slaughter Protest Message
  11. Fake Three Headed Snake Image
  12. False Warning - Facebook Will Soon Require Social Security Numbers When Users Login
  13. Advance Fee Scam - British National Lottery Promo Programme
  14. Invitation FB Olympic Torch Virus Hoax