General Question

Fly's avatar

Facebook automatically sent out a friend request from my account. What the heck?

Asked by Fly (8726points) May 29th, 2012

When I logged on to Facebook, I had a notification that somebody that I know had just joined Facebook. This in itself was odd, because I have never searched for this person on Facebook, nor do I know his e-mail address or even his last name; he would not know mine, either. I thought he might have found me through my mom, through whom he knows me, but she does not have such a notification or a friend request to or from him. We do not have any mutual friends, either, since he just joined.

Nevertheless, I clicked on the notification to see his page, and I saw that I had apparently sent this person a friend request, which I never authorized. What gives? Why was I even notified about his joining, and how did my account automatically send him a friend request? His this or anything similar happened to you?

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24 Answers

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Facebook does that. My son found that out the hard way when his Facebook sent out a friend request to his soon-to-be-ex who had a protective order against him. 30 days later….....

cookieman's avatar

This has happened to my wife a couple times too. :^(

Aethelflaed's avatar

Ok, how do I stop this? Is there a turn-off function?

cookieman's avatar

I dont know, I scoured through her settings looking for a way to shut it off with no luck.

Fly's avatar

The weirdest thing to me is that I have no clue how Facebook would even establish a connection between myself and this person.

ninjacolin's avatar

You people likely asked fb to invite your email contacts from yahoomail or hotmail.. If you use gmail I doubt you would have any confusion though. Lol

Supacase's avatar

This happened to one of my friends. Facebook suggested someone to her she didn’t even remember. She clicked on it because it is an unusual name and she’s only known one person in her life who has it. Sure enough.

Odd part is figuring out how FB connected them. They have no mutual friends, went to different high schools in neighboring towns, haven’t seen each other in 30+ years. We wondered if maybe the person had searched for her, but now it seems to be a bigger issue.

@Skaggfacemutt That truly sucks. Real life proof that whatever the hell FB is doing is not a good idea.

blueberry_kid's avatar

Facebook sometimes feels the need for people to reach out to other people, and connect with strangers.

This has happened to me multiple times. I just un-authorize the request, the email a complaint, in which they never answer.

Fly's avatar

@ninjacolin I am certain that I have not done this. Even if I had, I don’t have this person’s e-mail, nor would he have mine, as I said.

ninjacolin's avatar

Well, say what you will about facebook but I just don’t think they would do this. Has to be user error.. maybe you left your account open and a friend invited them.. or maybe you misread the “invitation” and you’re simply getting freaked out by the fact that facebook has pretty high level algorithms for finding and suggesting connections that you might know.. but I just don’t think facebook would add friends for you on a whim. That’s just not what they do. It’s also possible that you were hacked and the invite was added.. but a human has to be involved there somehow to the best of my knowledge to date.

Fly's avatar

@ninjacolin I am not one to jump to such conclusions without reason, so please don’t make that assumption. I would not have asked this question if I had not considered other possibilities, including the fact that I may have made the mistake. I have had no problems with Facebook in the past and have never experienced anything like this before, but I Googled it and there are actually lots of reports of such things happening.

It is impossible for someone else to have had access to my account as this was on my personal laptop in my own home, unless my account had been hacked (though I find this extremely unlikely, as a hacker would have no reason to send out one friend request, and I do actually know this person). The notification said nothing about the friend request, just that this person had joined. I clicked to see their profile, and saw that I had somehow already sent this person a friend request (the box that would normally say “add friend” instead said “friend request sent”) though I had never even seen their profile before this point. I did not click to send a friend request, it was already like that when I visited the page.

I did go back to look at the notification and the page to be sure that I had not done something, so I am certain that I did not misread or misinterpret anything. Though I am confused as to why Facebook notified me of this person’s joining, it would not bother me nearly as much had this phantom friend request not been sent concurrently.

ninjacolin's avatar

Just to be clear.. I doubt it very much, @Fly, that a Facebook algorithm added someone on your behalf.

I’m willing to believe you might be the first victim of such a thing ever and I’m also willing to believe some sort of supporting evidence (like an article from a reputable web tech researcher or blog) to suggest that this could have possibly come about without human interaction.

So, yea, I’m not accusing you of “jumping to conclusions” per se. I’m just saying either you added them a while ago and forgot about it or some other human added them on your behalf. Adding friends for you simply isn’t something Facebook is known for. I’m suggesting that it would be best for you to search out means that another person added them rather than conclude that facebook would do it without your consent.

“Facebook automatically sent out a friend request from my account”

No, it most likely did not do that without your (or another human with access to your account’s) consent.

Fly's avatar

@ninjacolin I understood what you meant perfectly well. I see why you would be skeptical as I was initially as well, but I’m not really asking for your opinion on the matter; I was asking if anyone had any experience with this and if they know anything about it. I do not mean to be argumentative or defensive, I just feel that you really have not read the details of my question or what I have said in the thread.

It is impossible for me to have added them a while ago, as they just joined, and I did consider the fact that a human could be responsible but it is simply not logical. As I said in my response to you, I did research this problem and its possible causes before asking this question, and I found that there are reports of glitches in the Facebook system accidentally caused by apps (and not necessarily ones used by me, since I no longer use any and have long since deleted any that I used in the past), though Facebook has not issued an official statement. As for reputable articles, how about these two? Aside from these articles, there are questions and complaints about it on other Q&A sites (feel free to Google those yourself if you wish to see) and I personally know people who have had similar problems. Between all of that, I do consider a problem within Facebook being a probable cause.

Aethelflaed's avatar

This says that Facebook says this is a glitch, not a feature, though it seems like they’ve had 9 months to fix it.
Yes, I just forgot this window was open.

Fly's avatar

@Aethelflaed I was beginning to wonder! ;)
That’s the same info that I found about it. You would think that they could have fixed this by now, but I suppose that it is probably difficult to regulate the apps that are supposedly causing the glitch.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Fly I know right? Especially because it seems like this could be a huge liability for them – imagine if Facebook automatically sent a friend request to your abusive ex whom you’ve gone to extreme measures to obscure your new location from?

Fly's avatar

@Aethelflaed Apparently, similar things have happened, unfortunately to @Skaggfacemutt‘s son, too.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I hate Facebook so much. So. Much. I wish I didn’t really have to have a FB in order to keep in touch in a meaningful way with many of my friends.

kianpepper's avatar

I just experienced this phenomenon and arrived here through a google search for a reason.

The notification stated “Lemur Wrangler joined facebook.”
I don’t know anyone who goes by that name. There are no mutual friends. I do not have my account set up with an email address book, nor do I know this person’s email. None of their ‘About’ info is displayed. The profile picture is one of wookies… yeah, the Star Wars guys. The page is baron except for one subscription from another person I don’t know.

I have no idea who they are and I’ve certainly never searched for this person.
Yet still, Facebook believes we must be friends…

Frisky2012's avatar

FACEBOOK SENDING REQUEST WITHOUT MY PERMISSION (((SOLVED))) This happen to me for a few days until I found out what was happening..I synce my phone with FB and its taking all my gmail contacts and yahoo contact from my phone and sending invites to there cell or email. THIS IS HOW YOU CHECK TO SEE WTH is going on and DELETE all INVITES so FB can STOP IT : Login FB and click here

dainanoelle's avatar

Actually joined this site just to answer this question. Yesterday I looked at someone’s facebook, just at the pictures, it was someone I known for years but don’t exactly want to be friends with and the next thing I knew I got a notification saying they had accepted my friend request. I’ve been on Facebook for probably 7 years so I know I did not ask them to be my friend. This also happened about 2 months ago from someone from a different country that I’ve never been on their page before. I don’t know why its happening but its really weird. I know no one else did it because I live alone and the fact that the person accepting my friend request happened directly after I was on their page. So I know you’re not crazy, it really just happens. Facebook had to have done it. which makes stalking a little harder now lol

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PineMan's avatar

I have seen loads of posts regarding this problem regarding particular groups.
I am getting the problem on a standard account – NOT a group.

Others are saying this is a problem arising from a reactivated account, and that they are not random, but previous Friends.
Not only is this is a NEW account, but none of the ‘Friends’ are anyone I’ve ever heard of, and most of them seem to be from Africa.

I have seen methods to turn the function off, but using options that don’t seem to exist. I can only imagine these options only apply to the Mobile version. As I only use FB on my PC that’s no good to me.

It is infuriating that I keep getting these “So-&-so accepted your Friend Request” coming through, when I never sent any such Friend Request. I’m very particular about who I choose as my friends.

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