Unfriend, refriend, defriend ...
February 15, 2014 7:48 PM   Subscribe

Facebook filter: An FB friend, who's really a bare acquaintance, posted favorable references to jokes about disabled people. My instinct took over ...

I unfriended/unfollowed her on the spot, naturally. Now I can't even tell her why -- can't even see her FB page. I would like to at least let her offer an explanation. How can I refriend her for a few days, or even just communicate with her via FB?
I can find other channels, but I'd rather use FB.
posted by LonnieK to Society & Culture (15 answers total)
You can send her a message on Facebook without being friends.

1) Go to her profile page. For example, type her name into the search field at the top of your newsfeed.

2) On her profile page, on the right side of the page (level with her name and profile pic, next to the 'add friend' button) you will see a button titled 'message'. Click it, and it will bring up a field for you to type a message in. Done!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:56 PM on February 15, 2014

If you can't actually see her profile page at all, that suggests you've been blocked.
posted by Sequence at 7:58 PM on February 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ah, Sequence is right. She has likely blocked you.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:00 PM on February 15, 2014

Response by poster: I can't see her profile page -- but I think that's because I blocked her. She prolly hasn't even been on FB in the 20 minutes we're talking about.
So if that's right ... can I unblock her?
posted by LonnieK at 8:08 PM on February 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, quite possibly it does work the reverse way, to prevent people from stalking people who can't see that they're even on FB, maybe? So, yeah, by all means. I mean... you're talking about wanting to contact her. Blocking her is kind of counterproductive.
posted by Sequence at 8:21 PM on February 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ready, fire, aim. And a bare acquaintance at that? You're honestly better off dropping this for the time being.

I'm sure Facebook has some kind of mechanism in place to keep you from unfriending someone and then sending them a message about what a shitbird they are. Take it as a sign.
posted by phaedon at 9:09 PM on February 15, 2014 [23 favorites]

Facebook doesn't even notify you when someone unfriends you, so if they aren't good friends with you, they might not even notice that you've disappeared off their friends list. Just leave it be.
posted by dcjd at 9:21 PM on February 15, 2014 [16 favorites]

I haven't used Facebook in a while, so I have no idea what the privacy settings are like, but there's usually a list of people you've blocked in there somewhere. If I recall correctly, it does give you the option to unblock someone. You might even be able to message her without being her friend, depending on how she has her settings set up. You can't friend her without her clicking the button, though, so she'll be aware that you've unfriended her.

Good luck with getting an asshole to stop being an asshole, though.
posted by Solomon at 2:05 AM on February 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Since you can't see her page, I'd say she's blocked you --- if YOU had blocked HER you definately could see her page when you clicked on it. (I've blocked my brother in law because of his literally posting dozens of times a day, but yes I can see his page if I click on it.)

But this person isn't a *real* friend; as you say, she's barely even an acquaintance. Don't waste your time or start a fight, just let this die and move on.
posted by easily confused at 2:12 AM on February 16, 2014

Best answer: If you are still keen to do this despite the advice above:

1. Log into the Desktop version of the site (not via an app or via the Mobile version)

2. Click on the settings icon (looks like a cogwheel) in the upper-right-hand corner

3. Click "Blocking" on the left-hand menu

4. Click "Unblock" next to her name

5. Go to her profile and click the Message button (if it's there -- some people have their privacy settings set to not allow messages from non-friends), keeping in mind that there's a good chance she will never see your message because messages from non-friends tend to automatically be filtered to the Other folder and most people are not in the habit of checking their Other folders

6. Refrain from re-blocking her until you know (or reasonably suspect) that she's seen your message, because Facebook blocking works in both directions -- if you block someone, you can no longer communicate to them either

As you can see, it's a lot of bother for someone you don't want to talk to any more anyway, and going through with it will open you up to receiving more unpleasantness from her.

In the future, if you want to tell someone off on Facebook, do it BEFORE you unfriend/block them.

Now on the topic of whether you should go through with it: Personally, I tend to call people out on this sort of shit on Facebook and let THEM be the ones to unfriend/block ME if they can't handle that. I've actually had some success over the years in turning some people around into being more sensitive or at least more cautious about being assholes online. I figure that SOMEONE has to confront people about this sort of stuff or the world is never going to change, so why not me? But I have a relatively thick skin and oodles of free time. You need to decide for yourself whether you can engage this person on this issue without incurring a hardship for yourself and it's okay if you decide that you can't. Also, if you do decide to confront her, you should be prepared to disengage and reblock her as soon as it begins compromising your own emotional equilibrium and/or seems to be a lost cause.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:34 AM on February 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

I think some people in this thread are conflating blocking someone with hiding someone from your news feed. Not the same thing.

I disabled my original Facebook profile a while back and created a new one. As soon as I made my new profile, I proactively blocked a bunch of people who don't even know of my new profile's existence and thus never even had the opportunity to block me. So they have not blocked me, but because I have blocked them I can't even find their profiles in search while logged in under my own Facebook account. However, I know that their profiles are otherwise findable in search because I can find them when logged in under my cat's account (as my cat does not have them blocked).

To summarize:

If you block someone, they completely disappear from your Facebook experience.

If you hide someone, they just disappear from your news feed but you can still go to their profile and still see their comments on other people's posts.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:42 AM on February 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

Mod note: Some comments deleted; if you don't want to answer the question, it's perfectly fine to pass it up.
posted by taz (staff) at 4:31 AM on February 16, 2014

Response by poster: Blocking her is kind of counterproductive ...
I know. I did. That's why I asked my question.
posted by LonnieK at 7:20 AM on February 16, 2014

Response by poster: But Jacqueline has explained what to do. Which I've done, and sent a message appropriate to the occasion. Thx all.
posted by LonnieK at 7:31 AM on February 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I realize this question has been answered, I just want to touch base on the whole "I can't see her so she blocked me" chorus.

This isn't necessarily the case. I have my privacy turned way, way up. I'm not searchable. If, somehow, you find the direct link to my Facebook profile, it shows an error message with "this content is currently unavailable". The only way people can even see basic information, or that my profile even exists, is if they are friends with a person in my "close friends" list, or whatever it's called. If she has these same settings, and is barely an acquaintance to you, then this also might be the case.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:05 AM on February 16, 2014

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