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Who Unfriended You, and Why 122

Posted by timothy
from the look-to-your-left-look-to-your-right dept.
Barence writes "Given that social-networking sites like to put across a happy-clappy image of friendship and joy, it's not surprising that they're less keen to tell you when someone doesn't want to be as friendly with you any more. PC Pro reveals how to find out who really hates you on social networks. It's possible to track who's quietly dropped you from their Facebook friends list, for example, by installing Firefox's Greasemonkey add-in and running a special script. Meanwhile, there are sites that will reveal the exact tweet that turned people off your Twitter account."
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Who Unfriended You, and Why

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  • And? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by singingjim1 (1070652) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @10:08AM (#35042290)
    I'm pretty sure I don't really give a crap who drops me. I go through my list and clean house about once every couple months. As a racing cyclist I get friend invites all the time from people I barely know. I keep them around for a while and if they don't participate or I find I really don't like them in person I add them to the drop list for next housecleaning time. People worry about what other people think about them WAY too much. I just don't give a fuck.
    • Re:And? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Servaas (1050156) <captivayay&hotmail,com> on Saturday January 29, 2011 @10:18AM (#35042326)

      I just don't give a fuck.

      That's why all these social websites have been such big hits. Cause non of us care what other people think.

      • by Rockoon (1252108)
        I had one person un-friend me because I pointed out what a huge hypocrite they were, owning and driving an SUV all the time while they were also complaining on facebook about those dirty oil companies....

        This person wasnt a friend tho... its called a friends list but really its just a contact list of sorts.. I have like 100 people from work 'friended', maybe 20 family members, 5 or 6 old friends from 'back in the day', maybe 5 actual current friends, and then a couple of jam band guys (such as a member of
        • Re:And? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Cruciform (42896) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @02:46PM (#35043778) Homepage

          I'm an anti-religion activist/slacktivist, so back when I had a Facebook account I posted news on secularism and a LOT of links to abuse by religious organizations.

          I'm not the type of person to look up people and add them unless they've interacted with me first. But I also come from a huge family so I accepted friend requests from relatives who felt they needed to be my friend for some reason.

          They started griping about the content of my feed, one in particular gave me a lecture. Somehow, they and the self-proclaimed "social media gurus" seem to feel that they have the right to dictate what I can and cannot provide social commentary on. They received a swift invitation to fuck off.

            It seems people can't (or won't) differentiate between their content, which they give you the opportunity to comment on, and your content which they aggregate into their feed. Telling me I can't post my "atheist agenda" to my own feed because they didn't want to see it in theirs is high on the order of social media dumbfuckery.

          Ditto the "gurus" who like to proclaim to people "you're using Twitter wrong". Some people treat it like a life ticker. Others like IRC or a grattiti wall. It is just a communication tool and its use evolves with the community, which remains in a fluid state. But some people just feel the need to be the boss.

        • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)
          I just finished reading all these posts, and now I understand why I don't use Facebook. It's a computer version of the most banal reality shows out there. It's like a sensory deprivation chamber. Now let me get back to watching "Parking Wars".
      • by nospam007 (722110) *

        Lots of users suffer from NPD, they need to be befriended by the people who had their locker near them 20 years ago, because they don't have any friends in real life. Being unfriended makes them go off their meds.

        Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder.

        The narcissist is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to self-centeredness.

        https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikiped [wikimedia.org]

        • "Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder."

          It quite possibly is, but that doesn't really tell us anything meaningful or useful. The trouble with the psychology/psychiatry disciplines is that they have a tendency to trap their patients/victims in an endless loop of self-doubt from which they rarely escape, while practitioners' theories seem to mutate from year to year without any very solid evidence.

          Getting back to the point, though:

          The simple fact is that people haven't change
          • by TheABomb (180342)

            Maybe, but in pre-Internet times, address books were private, and the only time someone saw who was in yours was when you died and your kids were going through it to see whom they needed to call and tell. If you were crossed out of someone's, the only clue was that you stopped getting cards at Christmas or she stopped returning your calls. Nowadays, the analogous list is public, and removing someone from it is essentially a public shunning of the removee, and there is some shame that comes along with that s

            • In my case I do most of the house cleaning myself, though I know that people have dropped me from their list too, of course. So when someone isn't in my list anymore it was probably my choice, not theirs. So it doesn't really matter that the list is "public" since you never really know who dropped who and why, unless they had some sort of "public" spat to make it obvious. I also use FB as my soapbox for social commentary which is also why I clean house from time to time. I know who is interested and who's a
        • Lots of users suffer from NPD, they need to be befriended by the people who had their locker near them 20 years ago, because they don't have any friends in real life. Being unfriended makes them go off their meds.

          ...and that would affect me how, exactly?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The truth is most people into the social websites don't care about other people, BUT they think everyone cares about them. Social websites are generally circle jerks, post something stupid, people comment, they post something stupid, you comment so they will comment on your inane posts in the future. This is all an attempt to ward off loneliness (Similar to the inane phone texts or calls), by using social websites in such a manner they fool themselves into thinking people REALLY care and they have REAL frie

        • No one outside of high school is trying to rack up friends on Facebook like it's a score. Facebook friends are really just contacts and most social people do indeed develop 1000s of contacts. Is it necessary to keep track of all of them? Probably not. But with Facebook, there is no cost associated with adding someone. Now granted you could argue that the more people you add, the greater risk you run of losing your privacy but many people know how to use Facebook in a manner responsible enough that this is n

          • Exactly. It's how I keep in touch with people I don't live near anymore and how I hear about social and cycling events in my area. I joined a Euchre group of really nice people through FB and we (the cycling crowd) all keep in touch with each other about what rides we are going on and share pictures of our events and races. It's really quite useful when used properly. Making an informative post is like making a conference call to hundreds of people and it only takes seconds. Efficiency is really it's attrac
      • by Deep Esophagus (686515) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:48AM (#35042692)

        I'm missing the connection you suggest between using social networking sites and caring what other people think. I fought Facebook for years because it's just another flash in the pan fad, but while my son was at army basic training he mentioned that his unit had a Facebook page. So I signed up just to be able to read whatever news they posted.

        Turns out friends I lost track of years ago are also there, and friends I'd like to keep up with but don't seem to use email much. So after my son came home I kept up with Facebook. Not because I give a flying Microsoft what people think, but because it's nice to know how my friends are doing -- I would not have otherwise known that a former colleague has been diagnosed with breast cancer, or the daughter of a family friend is having a baby. I block all the announcements of who is playing what games, I roll my eyes whenever one of them succumbs to the "If you care about SOME_CAUSE you will post this as your status" meme, and once in a while I can follow up with some concern -- "How did that operation turn out?" "Did you pass neurobiology?" "Did you get any cool pictures of that horrible growth before they removed it?"

        Another thing Facebook revealed was that I'm far more social than I realized. I vowed from the start that I would never accept random friend requests; I only added as friends people I personally know, either in a current environment or a close relationship to in the past. That obnoxious kid whom I only remember because we sat in the same math class? Nope. My best friend's daughter whom I have never met? Nope. The girl who got stuck with me in a special reading group in the first grade because we were both ahead of the rest of the class? Boy, was I glad to find her! So anyway, even with my strict limits on who gets added as a friend, I have about 200. Every single one of them I can tell you about their family or work, I can picture their faces in my memory, I can remember why they are important to me.

        As a typical antisocial nerd, I'm astounded. I honestly thought I couldn't count more than five friends across 47.78 years of life.

        So yeah, Facebook has the potential to be a mind-numbing exercise in idiocy... but if you use it carefully, it's a great means of keeping up with friends when there isn't really a practical way to call up all 200 of them and ask how they're doing.

        • I don't understand how can people have so many friends: I have about 15 people in my friends list.. :/ Then again, I have no interest in adding random people there or someone whom I've met only once. I guess _I_ am your typical antisocial nerd, not the previous poster :/

          • Yup, you're definitely more the typical antisocial nerd than others on both Slashdot and Facebook - heck, I have 400 friends on facebook - no randoms at all.
          • I have only 14 friends. But, they are only my nieces and nephews, brother and sister. I use a pseudonym on FB--and no real pictures or personal info. I've done a good job of keeping my real self and life off the 'net, thus far. The only reason I use FB at all is to keep up with what my family, 2000 miles away, is doing. I live in a different place--live a different life--and have little interest in the idiots I went to school with or most people in my past. I like the FB feed, though--I 'Like' my favorite
        • by PPH (736903)

          So anyway, even with my strict limits on who gets added as a friend, I have about 200. Every single one of them I can tell you about their family or work, I can picture their faces in my memory, I can remember why they are important to me.

          But do they remember you?

          To me, a friendship is something mutual. And it goes way beyond just memorizing facts about someone. A friend is someone I'd go out of my way to help (at some cost to myself) and I'd trust with information about me that I'd never put in 'the cloud'.

          Some people make a hobby (or profession) out of 'knowing' as many people as possible. Is that friendship? In many ways, having so many friends diminishes the value to which one places on the relationships defined as such.

        • Well said.

          Every Slashdot story has a bunch of people saying that "Facebook is useless" and lacking any sort of ability to imagine *why* normal intelligent people like using it. Seems to be one of the current Slashdot methods of showing 'superiority'.

        • by roman_mir (125474)

          As a typical antisocial nerd, I'm astounded. I honestly thought I couldn't count more than five friends across 47.78 years of life.

          - that's because you are not a typical antisocial nerd... I know antisocial, there are no 5 friends.

        • Deep Esophagus, nice name. Want to be friends?
        • by Sporkinum (655143)

          As an anti-social nerd, putting my lack of connections out into a public forum gives me the willies. I think the main reason is that I fear what some bureaucracy could do with that aggregated information. Don't agree with the government? Get put a a travel watch list. Also the fact that facebook continues to prove the fact that the only pay lip service to privacy.

          I couldn't care less about advertising though, as I block just about everything.

          Email will continue to work fine for me, since I can at least encr

        • by idlehanz (1262698)
          You could have written this post for me. You only missed my age by one year but captured my sentiment and my usage patterns, my core group (anti-social nerd), and the number of friends EXACTLY.
        • by cwtrex (912286)

          Like :)

        • "Did you get any cool pictures of that horrible growth before they removed it?"

          I believe the official term for those is "baby."

    • by definate (876684)

      I do the same thing, but also I "Ignore" their requests. I find the few people who really want me to on there, will keep re-adding me.

      For me however, I try to keep as few people on my list as possible, mainly to save my sanity.

      I find that being constantly reminded of people I don't really know, or don't want to know, and what they're doing, pisses me off. Makes me more anxious about my life, and what I'm doing. So, I keep it to a bare minimum. Not sure what's actually happening psychologically, but I think

      • by Relyx (52619)

        You can just hide their posts and updates from your feed. It's very simple to do - just two clicks on a little cross.

      • by Relyx (52619)

        One thing to remember about social networking sites and blogs is that they allow people to broadcast an "edited" version of life. All the good things and none of the bad. The power of mere omission can be phenomenal (just look at politicians and PR people - they get paid to do this.)

        Everyone has problems. Everyone has insecurities. Some are better at hiding it than others. Personally I have found it very liberating to realise that I don't have to be 100% warts and all honest with people. If I'm at a party a

    • by flam3boy (1716600)

      People worry about what other people think about them WAY too much. I just don't give a fuck.

      My way of thinking also !!!!

    • No kidding. What's the deal with all these Facebook stories. Facebook changes profile. Find out who unfriended you on Facebook. Facebook blah blah blah. None of this shit qualifies as "news for nerds" or "stuff that matters."

    • by Phoghat (1288088)
      Except for family and REAL friends (such as those I see regularly in real time) don't much care. I've dropped a couple of old girl friends (one was obsessing) because it was just a pain. Poke, Poke, my ass
  • by Leon Buijs (545859) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @10:09AM (#35042296) Homepage
    .. doesn't 'friend' you on Facebook in the first place.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

    • by peragrin (659227)

      unless you dated them or one of your friends were dating them and the break up was messy.

      personally I am not narcissistic enough for a facebook account.

      • Agreed, but that's something you already know. You don't need the online tools from the article to figure it out.
      • by wrencherd (865833)

        personally I am not narcissistic enough for a facebook account.

        . . . just masochistic enough for one on /.?

    • .. doesn't 'friend' you on Facebook in the first place.

      Not in my experience -- my father-in-law friended me, and he's not that fond of me. Maybe not hate . . . I can see why someone would like to keep track of someone they dislike, especially family or other propinquity.

      • You have a point that this is a possible, even commonly used strategy. For example, there is a old guy who hates my guts. I'm fairly sure we follows me on youTube, because I have posted a video of him flying way to low over our house. Then again, it's still unlikely that he will ever 'unfollow' me.
    • For example, a spouse in the middle of a divorce may "friend" the lover of the other spouse in order to collect information helpful in the divorce proceedings.

      • Sure, but the article is about 'unfriending' and finding out why unfriended you and why. If the spouse didn't notice it's the new lover that is allowed as a 'friend', it's unlikely that this spouse will know who this person is. So if this new lover unfriends the spouse, not much will become clear.
  • Curiously.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NuKe_MoNgOoSe (1941452) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @10:16AM (#35042314)
    There is a habit lots of people on Facebook have where they have a Gotta' Catch em All - Pokemon sorta mentality where they HAVE to have the largest number of friends possible. When I visit my facebook page I just add everyone who asks just because I dont care. I have close to 900 'friends' and the majority of them are people I will never associate with or have no association with they just added me through another friend. I dont really care who deletes me or adds me.. and I think its a sad commentary on somone who goes out of their way to search people who have removed them from their lists. Facebook is just getting ridiculous anyway I cant wait for it to burn out just like My Space.
    • I think its a sad commentary on somone who goes out of their way to search people who have removed them from their lists.

      Almost as sad as having a Facebook account.

    • if you don't care why use it? if you do use it, you're (admittedly) making it worse by having a bunch of people as friends who you don't want. If someone sends me a friend request, and I don't think they'll make my time on facebook better, or I don't care to talk to them, I deny that shit quick. . every couple weeks I go through my friends list and delete people I think are cluttering shit up for me. Facebook won't burn out like myspace. If you can't figure out why, not worth explaining either. The simple
  • Details about who doens't want to friend you and why should remain private. Then again that's true for most of the stuff posted on facebook but that's another story.
    • Details about who doens't want to friend you and why should remain private. Then again that's true for most of the stuff posted on facebook but that's another story.

      You ask someone to be your friend. It's hard to see how you can not know if they said yes or no.

      I have 21 FB friends. If this number should ever decrease I have this great technique ready, called "looking to see who isn't on the list any more". It is less nerdy than GreaseMonkey but equally effective. Why someone with 900 "friends" should even care about someone vanishing from the list is beyond me.

    • Lots of us at work (we work for the devil) are Facebook "mutual friends". But one friend talked about how a supervisor keeps doing friend requests no matter how many times she clicks "decline". I said to her, Facebook never tells you they declined the request. It just makes it look like you never did the friend request in the first place. So one could be convinced it was just a computer error, and try again. Especially if they're sure the request would be accepted. Her argument was a friend request wouldn't

      • "Facebook never tells you they declined the request."

        A simple solution here would be to include a refusal field, allowing messages like "Fuck off you sleazy creep, how about you try hitting on someone else".
      • Point out to her that if she just leaves it pending, the supervisor can't send it again.
      • by sadtrev (61519)

        Interestingly, Facebook doesn't seem to make unfriends too easy to find - they consider the greasmonkey script [userscripts.org] to be "abusive or spammy" and won't allow me to forward it to somebody within the fb message service.

    • Details about who doens't want to friend you and why should remain private.

      Do you mean that you shouldn't tell the rest of the world who "unfriended" you? I guess that's a good idea. But who's your friend isn't really a secret, they're not on your list. You may not remember who was and who you asked, but there's nothing really sneaky about noting who's there (and who left) every so often. I suppose it might be unhappy to dwell on it . . .

      • it also deprives you of the ability to keep to yourself whether you "just don't use facebook that often" or you just don't wanna add another useless contact.
    • The issue of who wants to friend you and why is not addressed by this application. What this application does is to provide information that is publicly available. That information consists of two elements: changes to your friends list and whether a friend request is still outstanding. Both of these pieces of information are available to the observant face book user. The app just makes it easier to notice.

      Correlating these pieces of information to an explanation of why they happened isn't something the app

      • I see your point and I agrree with the philosophy behind it. But in my post, "why" was a short way express "make a conjecture as to why based on that evidence alone"
  • by Jawnn (445279) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @10:21AM (#35042340)
    ...but apparently there's something about Facebook I can care even less about.
  • Because I might have offended some people whom I have never spoken to in 20 years, never bothered to look up and even then hardly knew and I have nothing in common with.Also they did not bother in the least to find me, except click on a button on facebook.

  • Hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @10:30AM (#35042370)
    I wonder if my wife has used this. 'Cuz I never really told her why.
  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @10:41AM (#35042416)
    I don't like you any more. In fact, for the last 30 years, I found you kind of intolerable.

    Signed,
    The Egyptian People
    • by laffer1 (701823)

      And we know how that turned out. He took all his ISPs and went home.

    • by PPH (736903)
      If I hadn't already posted to this thread, I'd mod you +Funny, +Insightful, and +Timely.
  • I don't have a tremendous amount of FB friends. ~100. But whenever someone unfriends me, I can NEVER, EVER tell who it was.

    I figure well, they obviously didn't have that much impact on my life, so they probably won't be missed. But I've resorted to cut-n-pasting my list of friends over to a text file, so that I can figure out who it was when curiosity gets the better of me.

    It seems a more economical solution to me than having a greasemonkey script constantly running in the background.
  • And ah wouldn't put above any of ye to dress up and pretend to be a sociologist on the weekends! "Social Nettwerks"!? Persanahlly ah'v spent the last 45 years on the top of a stick in an air-filled cave on the bottom of a lake in the arse-end of nowhere! Young on's nowaydays like to brag about bei'n "emotionally attached" to their anime "wives" - pishposh. You try 'an manage the gossip and scandals inher'nt to an anime *harem*! It's not the milk-an-honey existence they make it out 'ta be lemmetellya! The la
  • ...only for two reasons.

    1) Their statuses were annoying. They were either constantly emo, pathetic "i have to work FML", or just retarded. I de-friended an aunt who always left stupid crazy statuses in all-caps, "OMG THEY WANT TO BAN RELIGION EVERYONE SIGN THIS NOW." type of stuff. Oh, she also played farmville constantly and clogged up my homescreen with stupid app messages.

    2) I completely forgot who they were. Acquaintances from high school or people I met at one party one time who I could no longer e
    • by Relyx (52619)

      As I suggested to another poster, just remove them from your news feed. Two clicks is all it takes. You can even move them to a different friend list with stronger privacy restrictions. It seems that many of the people complaining about Facebook just haven't kept up with the developments over the last four years.

      • by Uzuri (906298)

        I can't speak for anyone else, but generally if I'm tired of seeing updates from someone I'm probably not too terribly interested in them seeing my updates either.

    • by crtreece (59298)
      You know you can block specific apps from posting to your news feed and/or wall, right?

      It only took me a week or so of blocking all the farmville/horoscope/superpoke crap to get to the point where it wasn't a constant distraction.

      • You know you can block specific apps from posting to your news feed and/or wall, right?

        It only took me a week or so of blocking all the farmville/horoscope/superpoke crap to get to the point where it wasn't a constant distraction.

        Some "friends" seem to be trying to outsmart me by finding new fishmobfarmgodland's every freakin' day. Where do they find the time? Oh, yeah, they're not on slashdot . . .

  • by CrackedButter (646746) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:30AM (#35042598) Homepage Journal
    I don't even understand the need to unfriend, I just remove them from my news feed. That way they can see my stuff, driving traffic to my blog. I use to delete people but now I don't.
    • by Relyx (52619)

      Basically some people just haven't bothered to learn Facebook properly. As you point out it's just a few clicks in your main newsfeed. I really question the world many Slashdotters appear to live in...

      • It's actually easier to remove someone from the newsfeed than it is to unfriend them. Never mind ignoring the fact that people you're cutting off your own oxygen by unfriending people from seeing content you create. Make them believe they are your friend or make them delete you. My methods saves me a ton of hassle.
    • by omglolbah (731566)

      That depends a lot on your use of facebook.

      My account has only people I want seeing my personal stuff. I am fully aware that the "security" of facebook privacy etc is bunk but it does give me a place to have day-to-day drivel without having to deal with the trolling asshats on most blogging sites.

      I make my money building control systems for oil rigs and find it challenging and interesting. I have no need to drive traffic to my blog :p

  • by Abstrackt (609015) on Saturday January 29, 2011 @11:33AM (#35042616)
    If I can't tell I was unfriended on my own odds are I don't care enough about that person anyway.
  • by kbielefe (606566)

    It's easy to find everyone who defriended you [slashdot.org]. Of course, I have no idea who any of those people are, let alone why they want to hide my posts.

    Anyone else think facebook would be a lot more interesting with disliking, foes, and freaks?

  • Friends are people with whom you have some level of trust and an ongoing relationship. They are the sort of people who will tell you if you've done something that they consider objectionable rather then just deleting you from a list or posting dirt about you online. If you think that someone is a friend just because they include you on a list, you need to do some serious work on developing social skills.

    That said, friends come and go. I've had friends in the past that, due to distance, changes in social ci

    • That said, friends come and go.

      Well, in my opinion and to the contrary, real friends are those who never go, regardless of what happens.

      That's why only 7 people I know I consider as friends. And no, I'm not a misanthrope who lives on a deserted island. A friend is a person who will seriously give a fuck if I die, who will help my parents if their house burns down, who will travel across the world just to see me and have a couple of beers with me. For this reason I don't need a retarded site with an RSS feed to manage my 7 friends.

      If

    • For me, de-friending isn't housecleaning. I don't go through my list to prune it. I will remove people if their statuses are annoying and we're not really friends. The one example that comes to mind is someone I knew as an angry-with-the-world girl in high school who sent me a request, we traded a couple emails, and I accepted. I tired of seeing angry-with-the-world rants about minor offenses people had committed against her, so she got the boot.

      You hit the key point, though. Just because facebook call

  • Chick I went to high school with, now Mormon. She had some status update about Jesus, referencing him as a man I believe. I just showed her some of my history of world religions chops (recent class I had) and compared and contrasted different religions views on hey sues, and whether he was viewed as a man or a god. . Made it a little humorous. BAM, unfriended. turns out Mormons don't have a sense of humor. .
  • One because we had a difference of opinion on another tax that did not pass ( I was against and he was for it). One because I don't know why, he thought I deleted him, but he deleted me.

    The result. Whatever dude!

    First don't friend everyone that comes along just because they said hi at a bar or wherever or you knew they from way back. People change! So friend people who are only your friends. If you have 1000 friends, they are not your friends, they are fans or acquaintances. Second, setup groups of

  • Man,most the high rated posts are post on how cool we are because we don't care.

    Yet everyone one of them people who "dont' care" have a facebook account. So you must care some, to have the account, right?

    Ha, just messing with ya. I have an account, and I don't care about it either.

    Friend me, unfriend me. foe me, like me. poke me, sex me up. It's all cool. I don't care about you, nor will I. Mainly if we sex it up. thanks!

  • Using this I saw a couple of family members that have yet to accept my friend invite. Guess I can remove them from my Christmas card list.

    (actually, I know they're not computer savvy, I'm guessing they haven't logged back in for a while)

  • Make it a public event. Post a detailed explanation for why this person no longer deserves to share in your wonderful Facebook existence. If you dare.
    As an added benefit, this will probably cause some folks to unfriend you.

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