Facebook Fights Social Spam with “Mark You Don’t Know” Response to Friend Requests

With more than 350 million monthly active users around the world, Facebook has a lot of users who want to make new friends. And now the company is testing out a feature to make friending a little more meaningful. Once you mark “ignore” on a friend request, you’ll see a new option in addition to being able to report the person for abuse or spam: “Mark that you don’t know” them.

Facebook has never shown friend rejections; rather, the person who made the friend request just never gets a confirmation. Some people don’t seem to get the hint, though, and make multiple friend requests to people they never get friend confirmations from. The new appears to make it so that the recipient can block future requests from the person. Like the long-time option of blocking all application notifications from a friend, it’s another way to reduce the social spam generated by poor etiquette on social networks.

Facebook doesn’t say exactly what happens when somebody gets marked as not known. “Our security team is currently just testing this feature to help inform certain limits on friend requests and combat spam,” a spokesperson told us.

Like a spammy app, it sounds like Facebook has some sort of limit it is testing out on how many friend requests a user can send over a given time. Also, the site is becoming a larger target for automated spam and phishing attacks, and one tactic is for spammers and scammers to set up fake profiles and friend people — this points to another use for the “mark you don’t know.” If used by enough people, it could help alert Facebook to problem profiles early on before they can cause too much damage.

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25 Responses to “Facebook Fights Social Spam with “Mark You Don’t Know” Response to Friend Requests”

  1. Ark says:

    That option has been there for a long time as I can remember.

  2. New Facebook Feature Combats Dodgy Friend Requests « Web, Internet, Social Media, Technology says:

    [...] lets you identify strangers who attempt to friend you, according to a report published today by the Inside Facebook blog. Facebook confirmed it’s testing the feature in an email to [...]

  3. New Facebook Feature – Mark You Don’t Know | AFreeMind.org says:

    [...] Inside Facebook Blog: Facebook has a lot of users who want to make new friends. And now the company is testing out a [...]

  4. Identify strangers who attempt to friend you On Facebook | Enbeeone3 : A Freelancer says:

    [...] lets you identify strangers who attempt to friend you, according to a report published today by the Inside Facebook blog. Facebook confirmed it’s testing the feature in an email to [...]

  5. New Facebook Feature Combats Dodgy Friend Requests | TwitTrix says:

    [...] lets you identify strangers who attempt to friend you, according to a report published today by the Inside Facebook blog. Facebook confirmed it’s testing the feature in an email to [...]

  6. Facebook to Combat Fake Friend Requests « Komplett Ireland says:

    [...] a friend request then that request is, effectively, rejected. However, according to the folks at InsideFacebook, the social network is currently working to add options that will allow users who have opted to [...]

  7. New Facebook Feature Combats Dodgy Friend Requests! Thanks @Mashable « Ljjspeaks's Blog says:

    [...] lets you identify strangers who attempt to friend you, according to a report published today by the Inside Facebook blog. Facebook confirmed it’s testing the feature in an email to [...]

  8. Facebook combatte lo spam con “Mark you don’t know” nelle richieste di amicizia | ciaoblog says:

    [...] anteprima su Inside Facebook la descrizione della nuova opzione di Facebook: “Mark you don’t know”: servirà a selezionare [...]

  9. Facebook Makes Moves To Make Sure Spammers Don’t Keep Sending Friend Requests! | Startup Meme - Unofficial Facebook Guide says:

    [...] forward to make new friends. You can have many reasons as to why you rejected someone’s request: Spam, abuse already with the latest reason which says that you don’t know [...]

  10. facebookmarketing.de | Facebook Plattform News says:

    [...] Leider können wir auch jetzt noch nicht sagen, welche Funktion hinter diesem Link versteckt ist. Und auch Facebook mag nicht bei der Aufklärung helfen. “Our security team is currently just testing this feature to help inform certain limits on friend requests and combat spam,” ist die offizielle Stellungnahme gegenüber Inside Facebook. [...]

  11. iheoma cosmas says:

    please ican open my facebook

  12. Jamie says:

    That’s great! But can’t you like…delete those people after they’ve been marked as strangers too often? I hear that’s what LinkedIn does and that would be exactly what those retards deserve!

  13. sebastien says:

    maybe is way my Facebook account has been temporarily suspended !
    i send a invitation to all my homailt & gmail contact

    i was a facebook memeber for 3 years lost all friend i made on facebook
    facebook = appel
    …………
    this is the msg i got form facebook ( Your Facebook account has been temporarily suspended because our systems detected that you engaged in abusive behaviour.
    )

    anyone can help get my account back ?

  14. Your Business Profit + Facebook Fan Exchange: I become a fan, you become a fan - Page 10 - Small business forum Australia says:

    [...] [...]

  15. joseph olear says:

    What does it mean if a checkmark appears over a friend request? I have never seen this before. Does it mean it was read? Thanks

  16. Facebook Slamming The Back Door On Spammers? says:

    [...] anti-spam controls. Facebook has been fighting back via a number of means including the ability to report friend requests from people you don’t know and even through lawsuits against significant [...]

  17. Scott says:

    Fighting Spam is great but not all friend requests from strangers are a bad thing, ALL FRIENDS WERE STRANGERS ONCE!
    Wake up Facebook, your draconian policies are hurting you.

  18. Gift Nyati Chiyangaya says:

    there is know stranger in life its just a friend you meet for a first time,so lets enjoy our freindship belive me we depend on each other.

  19. Tyciol says:

    I think Nyati makes sense.

  20. Janet says:

    I’ve friended people I “don’t know” in RL because we had interests in common. I just make sure to include a message explaining why I’m doing it — I’ve never had any problems that way. And I always mention that if they’re not interested, that’s cool.

  21. 09sno says:

    Facebook doesn’t say exactly what happens when somebody gets marked as not known. “Our security team is currently just testing this feature to help inform certain limits on friend requests and combat spam,” a spokesperson told us.

    While I understand such a move is necessary, I wish there had been a clearer warning. My fiance’s account was recently suspended and we had no clue what was up. He’s very new to Facebook, lol. This is what they said:

    Understanding Friend Requests on Facebook
    Friend requests are more likely to be accepted when you send them to people you already know, such as classmates, friends, family and coworkers.

    If you use Facebook to communicate with strangers, they have the option to report that they don’t know you or to mark the communication as spam. If this happens repeatedly, you could be viewed as violating Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

    Friend Requests and Messages Blocked for 2 Days
    To prevent you from contacting people against their wishes, your friend requests and your ability to send messages to strangers have been blocked temporarily.

    If more of your friend requests are later marked as spam or reported for being sent to strangers, this block could be extended. To prevent this, you may wish to cancel your pending friend requests.

    Cancel unanswered requests?

  22. Jeff Dearman says:

    HOW CAN FACEBOOK CALL ITSELF A SOCIAL NETWORK SITE, AND THEN LIMIT HOW MANY NEW PEOPLE YOU CAN MEET? IT SHOULDN’T CALL ITSELF A SOCIAL NETWORK SITE, MORE LIKE A PROFESSIONAL NETWORK SITE FOR PEOPLE WHO ALREADY KNOW EACH OTHER. I THINK SOCIAL NETWORKING IS ALL A BUNCH OF HYPE. I MEAN THEY SAY ITS A GREAT WAY TO FIND NEW PEOPLE AND MEET SOME OLD FRIENDS, BUT THEN FACEBOOK YELLS AT YOU AND BLOCKS YOU WHEN YOU TRY TO MEET SOMEONE NEW. ITS COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. I LIKE TO MEET NEW PEOPLE ONLINE. FACEBOOK EVEN SENDS YOUS “SUGGESTIONS” FOR PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW AND THEN WHEN YOU ADD SOME PEOPLE YOU GET BLOCKED AND YELLED AT BY FACEBOOK FOR ADDING TOO MANY FRIENDS YOU DON’T KNOW AT A TIME. I AM SO SICK OF FACEBOOK I AM ALMOST READY TO JUST GIVE UP ON FACEBOOK ALL TOGETHER. FACEBOOK SHOULD STOP CALLING ITSELF A SOCIAL NETWORK. THE IDEA OF A SOCIAL NETWORK IS TO BE ABLE TO ADD AND BEFRIEND NEW PEOPLE FOR NETWORKING REASONS OR OTHER REASONS. IT IS RIDICULOUS THAT FACEBOOK PUNISHES PEOPLE WHEN THEY REQUEST TO BE FRIENDS WITH NEW PEOPLE (SO WHAT IF I DONT KNOW SOMEONE) I LIKE MEETING NEW PEOPLE. SUE ME FACEBOOK. FACEBOOK IS GETTING WORSE AND WORSE. IT USED TO BE A GREAT WAY TO MEET NEW PEOPLE AND KEEP IN TOUCH WITH OLD FRIENDS BUT I THINK WE NEED A NEW SOCIAL NETWORK SITE. FACEBOOK IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE LIKE A SECOND VERSION OF LINKEDIN.
    GET A LIFE FACEBOOK!!!!!!!!

  23. emily says:

    I GOT THIS STUPID MSG WHEN I TRIED TO LOG IN CUZ MY FRIEND HACKED MY FACEBOOK AND ADDED A BUNCH OF PPL……Understanding Friend Requests on Facebook…IT WON’T LET ME GO TO MY HOME PAGE OR ANYTHING. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? HOW LONG WILL IT BE UP? IS MY FACEBOOK PERMANATELY GONE?

  24. harry says:

    i m also suffering with this problem..Understanding Friend Requests on Facebook…plz help..

  25. Sanjay N says:

    Really wish there was a way to prevent third parties from spamming your regular mail accounts.

    These people never seem to have any connection with you at all

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