A growing number of the 850 million Facebook users have been logging into their accounts, only to get the following message from the social networking site:
"Friend Request Notice. We received feedback that you sent friend requests to people you don't know, which isn't allowed on Facebook. Please only send friend requests to people you know, like classmates, family, friends and colleagues. Otherwise, you could be blocked from sending friend requests."
Raymond, of Anchorage, Alaska, says he got that message and is baffled by it.
“I am being blocked by Facebook for over two months now,” Raymond told ConsumerAffairs. “They say they have received a complaint, that I am inviting people I don't know to join my friend network, but I only invite those whom I know, or are recommended by Facebook.”
Teresa, of Seattle, Wash., has a similar complaint. She says she gets friend requests all the time from people she doesn't know and it's no big deal. At least, not to her.
“Apparently I got reported that I have been friending people I don't know and I got in trouble with Facebook,” Teresa said. “It doesn't make sense to me because I get 'people you may know' suggestions from Facebook all the time. So, am I supposed to not ask them to be my friends?”
There seems to be a disconnect between Facebook's habit of sending friend suggestions and users' perceptions of those suggestions. Because it came from Facebook, it's assumed that it's okay to make a friend request.
But that's apparently not the case. Software has analyzed a number of factors that are similar to your account and to others and is making a guess that you may know that person. But if you don't, you are not supposed to send a friend request.
Laura, of Keene, N.H., just wishes Facebook would stop making suggestions.
“I am also inundated, on a daily basis, with other people I might know and might like to 'friend' on Facebook,” Laura said. “These are Facebook suggestions.”
And if you receive a friend request from someone you don't know, don't be so quick to blame the would-be friend. They may simply be taking what they perceive to be Facebook's suggestion.