Changes at Facebook social networking site cause problems for users

New Facebook problems and changes

In my opinion Facebook is still the best social networking site but it is becoming more and more difficult to understand or use. I am far from being alone in my opinion.

Loads of people have been complaining about the recently added Timeline which was forced on us all whether we wanted it or not. I have gotten used to it though would much prefer the old system. There are many other problems with the Facebook site though.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder & CEO by Elaine Chan and Priscilla Chan
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder & CEO by Elaine Chan and Priscilla Chan | Source

Friend requests cause problems

It seems that the whole idea of social networking is not what Facebook is about because it actively prevents users from networking in many cases. The site suggests new friends but then penalises you for sending them friend requests.

You may want to be friends with someone you know of or share interest and friends with only to receive a crazy notice saying: “Friend Requests Blocked for 30 Days
We received feedback that you sent friend requests to people you don’t know, so you won’t be able to send friend requests for 30 days.

Surely making friends is what social networking should be about? Why does Facebook suggest friends for us if it doesn’t want us to have them?

At the same time it encourages users to help newcomers on the site by suggesting friends for them. This means you can go through your own lists of friends and suggest them in blocks of up to 50. It is very unlikely the person you are helping knows most of these people but he or she is allowed to add them, which, of course, means the rule about not adding people you don’t know doesn’t make any sense.

Data collection agency

How on Earth does Facebook know who any of us know or don’t know anyway? Many people have said they think Facebook is being used as a data collection agency. Those who believe in conspiracy theories tie this in with the CIA and think this is very sinister but if that were true it does not explain how Facebook really knows who any of us really know.

Even if Facebook really is just another face of Big Brother watching everyone in a global police state or New World Order reality, it has no way of knowing who we actually know in our personal lives. And why does it matter to Facebook anyway? Why should it be of any concern?

Facebook logo

Facebook logo in public domain
Facebook logo in public domain

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5,000 Friends Total

Recently a new problem came about very suddenly and unexpectedly. Many of us are aware that Facebook only allows a total of 5,000 friends, and so if we have a figure around that number make sure we do not add too many. I keep a check on this total and only add new friends if I think they should be on my list when friend requests arrive. Or at least I did!

Facebook suddenly gave me an additional 667 friends overnight and I had no chance of approving or rejecting any of them. This brought my total to 5,667. Really great, I thought, at last Facebook has relaxed its limits for the total of friends you can have, but I was very wrong. Although that new total is the Friends total that is now displayed if I try to add any new friends a notice comes up saying I am only allowed a total of 5,000 and must remove some friends before I can add any more.

So Facebook is saying you can only have 5,000 friends in total but at the same time is adding way over that number to your total and not letting you have any say in the matter. If I want to add new friends now I first have to delete well over 600 people.

Making matters even worse, I don’t know who they are. If you have thousands of friends it becomes increasingly hard to scroll down the page to see all the names and thumbnail images displayed. So how do I find out who all these new friends are and whether I want to keep them?

I am not alone though, because many Facebook users suddenly had hundreds of new friends added to their totals too. No official explanation was given. It was simply done. For example, one day I had 5,000 friends and the next day I had 5,667.

Facebook Friends

Losing friends and deleting them

Now it happens that every so often you are bound to lose friends anyway. Sometimes people become offended, with good reason or not, by what they see posted on your wall, and these people may decided to unfriend or block you. At other times face book users on your list will decide they have had enough of the site and delete their own Facebook account. Or they may get into trouble with Facebook and end up with their sites deleted by Facebook. In all these examples your Friends total will go down. I need mine to drop by well over 660. I have a long way to go before I can add any more Facebook friends!

I tried finding out who my new 660+ friends are by posting on my wall asking them to vote for a song of mine in the YouBloom Music Awards contest, and asked them to say Hello. Not one responded, so does that mean none of them read my Facebook wall? Or does it mean they don’t even exist? Who are my hundreds of mysterious new Facebook friends? Come out, come out, whoever you are!

UPDATE: Since publishing this hub I have learned that the additional friends are deactivated accounts. There is a way of removing them but it is time consuming. To find out the easiest way of doing so, check out this hub: http://iamrosa.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Remove-Deactivated-Friends-from-Your-Facebook-Timeline

© 2012 Steve Andrews

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Comments 34 comments

tapasrecipe profile image

tapasrecipe 4 years ago from Spanish tapas land

Totally with you Bard of Ely, I actually shut my accounts down and feel so free and liberated now you can´t imagine, Facebook were getting more controlling the bigger they got, now I only use Google +, intuitively it´s a dream, the circle thing is fantastic, no offence to anyone still on facebook but I don´t get half as much hassle on Google plus, and I´m not sure if it my personal settings or not but the community discussions and trends do not seem to revolve around mindless celebrities.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for posting, tapasrecipe! Personally I prefer Facebook to Google + which I am on but hasn't helped me in any way I can think of!


Teresa Lewis profile image

Teresa Lewis 4 years ago from Cardiff

Be careful of attracting wierdos on Facebook who are very pally for a while and flattering you then all of a sudden they will not only unfriend you but block you as well just for one slight difference of opinion. I put up a status update to let my Facebook friends not to expect to find their doppelganger or clone on Facebook as I'm afraid some of them were doing so and then they were surprised to find that I didn't share their political views for instance.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for the advice, Teresa!


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 4 years ago from East London, in South Africa

That's interesting - I also had some extra friends added out of the blue - only about 120 though - seems really odd when I haven't been inviting any new friends lately or accepting any new friends. Who are these "extra friends?" Hm, a little concerning actually! I don't spend all that much time on Facebook, but wouldn't really like to shut my account down - it does sometimes get me a little traffic to whatever I'm linking to, and helps me keep in touch with friends who are not interested in joining other sites I belong to. Hm, not nice this extra friends thing. Interesting hub, Bard of Ely - sharing with my HubPages followers.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Teresa! I use Facebook a lot and get a lot of traffic from it for my hubs! I am told that the mysterious new friends are past friends who have deactivated accounts. I am not convinced though and happen to know that sometimes people do deactivate their own sites and then come back at a later stage though I a not sure how they do that. Either way I am amazed if I had 667 deactivated friends pages on my list!


tjdavis profile image

tjdavis 4 years ago from Moscow, Texas

Wow I also had new friends added. I had no idea what to think about it since I had no invites!!! I have been blocked also for "sending out friends request" which btw I did not but could not get them to understand that.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Yes, its' a crazy place there! Thanks for posting!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

As much as we may dislike Facebook, it is now the defacto social site, and if you want any chance of networking success, you have to be on it. Voting this Up and Interesting.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

I agree with you, alocsin, and despite my complaints, I have long regarded it as the best of these sites!


Terri Meredith profile image

Terri Meredith 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

Very interesting, your new friends, that is. I have trouble with even being able to get on my own page sometimes. They just keep telling me they don't the user name and password combination. I've had them the same for three years now but there are times I don't seem to exist. Then without any warning, suddenly they recognize me again. It's a real pain in the a... Anyway, good writing on a situation that's frustrating to many! Voted up and interesting!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you, Terri!


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

Hi Bard, Facebook adding friends without your approval is very intrusive to my way of thinking, surely you should be able to talk to someone on their staff about the situation? I have no idea as I don't have an account. Interesting post. Regards, snakeslane


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Apparently the 'friends' are deactivated accounts that have been re-included in your total. Like many others I am now in the long process of removing them.


DDE profile image

DDE 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A Useful Hub and agree with you sometimes I have trouble using Facebook, as far as friends are concerned I try not to add too many and if I don't want someone on my list I just remove them thanks for this helpful information


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

You are welcome!


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 4 years ago from Central Virginia

Great hub. I am one who is fast losing interest in facebook. I find most of the daily status reports petty and useless. The concept of social networking is wonderful but I honestly haven't found a site yet that can be used for true social networking. It's great to see others taking a deeper look too.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you for your comments, lrc7815!


cfin profile image

cfin 4 years ago from The World we live in

Interesting article.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for your comments!


geetbhim profile image

geetbhim 4 years ago from Ludhiana India

Interesting hub,FB only block us when we send friend request to unknown person and if that unknown person will not confirm the friend request and the same day if six request is rejected than FB takes action and block the friend request.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 4 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thanks for commenting!


CloudExplorer profile image

CloudExplorer 3 years ago from New York City

Facebook is definitely an ever evolving social networking ecosystem, but its all about profits for sure, while they rearrange and maneuver new gimmicks there to get us to fall for it all, like the new promote FB post's option there.

I love FB, I love networking with others, and I don't care what they choose to do with the network, as long as they don't mess around with all the free connections, and communications. Lets hope thing remain free as its been for years, and if in the future we have to pay for making a mere gesture for whatever there, I will definitely go elsewhere, because its silly to be that greedy you know.

Fantastic analysis, and I like the friends aspect you added to this hub the best, nice job Bard.

Thumbs up and getting shared with all of my networks for sure.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Thank you so much, CloudExplorer!


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 3 years ago

Interesting discussion. I wonder why facebook would want to limit the number of friends to 5000. It doesn't make sense, unless there is technical limitation which we are not aware off.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

It has been that way for a long time. Thanks for your comments!


Amata 3 years ago

Steve, as for the warning notice, I now know the reson: when you send a friend request to someone and that person rejects it, they will get a quick survey asking them why are they doing this; and then they can choose: "I don't know this person". If they do this, you will get a notice you sent requests to people you don't really know.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

It's still a crazy rule seeing as Facebook is supposed to be a place to meet people. Surely that is what social networking is about?


Amata 3 years ago

Of course, if someone does not want to accept your invitation, that is fine, let them reject it. But why make people give Facebook the reason of doing this? People that reject your invitation don't usually even know that choosing 'I don't know this person" will cause problems for you.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

It doesn't seem very fair! And famous people are very unlikely to know most of the people who want to be on their lists.


Teresa Lewis profile image

Teresa Lewis 3 years ago from Cardiff

Rather spend time with Facebook friends on Facebook who never or very rarely watch mainstream television than sit in a pub or the home of a friend or relative with television blaring on in the background the whole time.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

Me too, Teresa!


expertscolumn profile image

expertscolumn 3 years ago from New York

Follow the simple directions on https://www.facebook.com/help/224562897555674

There is a one link that takes you to your account deletion.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 3 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal Author

But why would I want to delete my account? It is one of my main sources of traffic - 188 views in the last 24 hours.

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