Thursday, November 10, 2011

Facebook, Blockheads

I noticed something on Facebook recently.  When you get a friend request, you're prompted to choose between "Confirm" and "Not Now".  If you click "Not Now", you will be asked whether you know [friend's name] "outside of Facebook".  If you answer in the negative, Facebook thanks you and assures you "This person won't be able to send you any more friend requests."  Below, "this person" is my brother; this was just for testing purposes.

Thank you.  This person won't be able to send you any more friend requests

But Facebook, wait a minute, I just told you I didn't want to accept the friend request; I didn't say I wanted to take away privileges from the person trying to friend me.  So I click "Undo" and I'm taken to this message:

Unblocked.  This person can send you friend requests again.

Unblocked?!?  So if I hadn't clicked "Undo", I would've blocked this friend?  Well, I decided to test this out.  When I had my brother unfriend me and friend me again, I went through this whole process except for clicking undo, which I waited on, in order to first check whether he had been added to my blocked users list.

He had not; my blocked users list still only contained Booka Jugaba, a profile that a classmate of mine created once upon a time.  I hope I didn't just say something bad in some language.

My Brother Had Not Been Added to the Block List

Well, that's good news, because it means Facebook, however unauthorized, only took away the friend request sender's ability to send another friend request to me.  The sender might just be a kid from school who's interested in me or something.  I might not know them, but I might meet them later, and they don't deserve to be added to my blocked users list.  The bad news is that Facebook doesn't use consistent terminology throughout the site.  Block (and it's various forms) does not mean the same thing everywhere on the site.  That's bad, and is one of many examples of Facebook being inconsistent.