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  #1  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:09 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Disappearing Facebook profile

I recently (like, a few hours ago) managed to find a (very obscure) author who I like on Facebook. I sent him a friend request, along with a message that I liked his book. He accepted it. I looked at his Facebook profile. It was pretty elaborate, with lots of photos of himself and his family and friends and a lot of interaction with other people. I sent him a message asking a question about his book.

An hour or so later, I want to look at his profile again so I search for it. It no longer pops up in my Friends list. "He un-friended me, maybe?" I thought. Don't know why he would have done that, but maybe he did. So I searched for his name in Facebook's search engine to see if his profile would pop up again. It didn't. It just didn't come up at all. I have been un-friended by a person on Facebook before, and afterwards their profile was still visible (in a limited way). I was just no longer their friend and I couldn't actually see their profile but their picture would come up with the option to friend the person, to send them a message, to see their friends, etc. In this case, the guy's profile simply vanished.

I originally found his Facebook profile through a Google search. So I searched Google for his name again, and found the link to his profile (again.) I clicked it. But instead of taking me to the limited-profile screen with his picture and the option to friend him or send him a message, it just takes me to my Facebook home page.

So I log out of Facebook completely, and clear all my history, cookies, cache, everything. Again I type in his name in Google and click the link to his Facebook profile. Now it just gives me a yellow exclamation mark and an error message:

The page you requested was not found.

You may have clicked an expired link or mistyped the address. Some web addresses are case sensitive.


What happened here? Why did his profile disappear (for me)? Even if he had indeed blocked me (and I don't know why he would have) I don't think his profile would have just outright disappeared in this way.
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:17 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Update - I just checked my inbox and I saw his reply to the first message I sent him along with my friend request. I asked him if he was the author of the book I liked, just to make sure it was the right guy, and he said that he was. His name appeared in bold, black, unclickable letters and his profile pic was a generic stand-in. Leading me to believe he blocked me. (Why? All I did was ask him a totally unoffensive question about his religious views [which are a major topic of his book].) And it's one of the most debauched, explicit, over the top books I've ever read so the idea of him being thin-skinned about this is quite amusing to me.

Nevertheless the Google link to his profile still brings up an error message even when I'm not logged into Facebook and with all my history cleared. Is this normal for someone who has blocked you? Or did he, for some insane reason, take down his entire profile? Or is there some kind of system error?
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:52 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Even if he unfriended you, you should still be able to see his public profile. My guess is that he took down his profile, or there's an error with Facebook - an everyday occurrence these days, it seems. Facebook has to be the worst performing "big name" site out there. I can't remember the last time I managed to send someone a message first time, or expand comments on the news feed page without the browser hanging and having to restart it.
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2009, 05:49 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon View Post
Even if he unfriended you, you should still be able to see his public profile.
Block and Unfriend are different creatures (I have one ex girlfriend on block and one on unfriend). Block gets rid of that person's entire presence with reference to the blocked account - it's as if neither person exists to the other, within the Facebook context.

If the OP sets up a dummy account and searches for the author again using that, you may find him, in which case you've been Blocked.

Last edited by jjimm; 11-20-2009 at 05:50 AM..
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2009, 07:05 AM
Mycroft Holmes Mycroft Holmes is offline
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I'm on Facebook and I can find Samuel Delany without a problem. I assume that's his profile since the number of friends is very high and due to the profile picture. Is that the profile you were looking for?
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2009, 07:30 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Originally Posted by jjimm View Post
Block and Unfriend are different creatures (I have one ex girlfriend on block and one on unfriend). Block gets rid of that person's entire presence with reference to the blocked account - it's as if neither person exists to the other, within the Facebook context.

If the OP sets up a dummy account and searches for the author again using that, you may find him, in which case you've been Blocked.
But surely "Block" shouldn't stop the profile appearing on Google searches? Or is there an option to have no public profile presence at all?
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2009, 08:00 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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It would be nice if you mentioned the name of the author.

There are cases where people join Facebook but get tired of all the friending and unfriend people who they don't know personally. I think you can also hide your information from Facebook searches.
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Last edited by RealityChuck; 11-20-2009 at 08:01 AM..
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2009, 08:08 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon View Post
But surely "Block" shouldn't stop the profile appearing on Google searches? Or is there an option to have no public profile presence at all?
Hmm, you're right, no - to recreate the OP's situation, there would have to be two simultaneous actions: first Block a user, then change privacy settings to remove one's profile from Google.

Last edited by jjimm; 11-20-2009 at 08:08 AM..
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2009, 08:25 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Just a very extreme change of privacy settings can cause that. He may have unfriended you and change his settings. Still not necessarily blocked you.
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2009, 08:35 AM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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I had something similar happen. A real-life old friend who moved away to another state found and friended me on FaceBook. We chatted back and forth for a while, and then he suddenly disappeared right in the middle of a conversation. His name became unclickable on the messages. I just assumed he dropped his FaceBook account. I'll have to track down his email address and find out.
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  #11  
Old 11-20-2009, 11:20 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycroft Holmes View Post
I'm on Facebook and I can find Samuel Delany without a problem. I assume that's his profile since the number of friends is very high and due to the profile picture. Is that the profile you were looking for?
No, this is someone with about 1/10000 the name recognition of Delany. He's self-published. Totally obscure.

I searched Google for his profile just now on another computer in the office; clicking the link led, again, to an error page. His profile has either been taken down completely, or - more likely - he un-friended me, then changed the privacy settings so that his profile couldn't be accessed by Google or seen by anybody that he didn't personally invite or something like that. Maybe he was overcome with anger at people who didn't know him personally contacting him on Facebook and decided this was the last straw.

Oddly though, I sent a message to his wife asking about this situation, and she quickly responded to me, saying: "I passed your message along to him; he should be getting in touch with you. Good luck!"
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2009, 02:09 PM
FalconFinder FalconFinder is offline
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One of my friends' profiles isn't always visible. It's bizarre. Nothing like what's described here, but it took me a bit of switching friend views to find her profile. There's some sort of oddball glitches going on.

The News vs Live feed option doesn't always work right either. Drives me nuts. One day Live feed shows me everything, the next time it doesn't. Argh.
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2009, 02:20 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Sure you're not a stalker? He apparently unfriended you and then changed his privacy settings...yet you contacted his wife to inquire about him? Sounds like he did the right thing.

Last edited by Omar Little; 11-20-2009 at 02:21 PM..
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2009, 02:40 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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It would be more helpful if you would just give the name of the author.
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2009, 02:43 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Originally Posted by Wilbo523 View Post
Sure you're not a stalker? He apparently unfriended you and then changed his privacy settings...yet you contacted his wife to inquire about him? Sounds like he did the right thing.
No, I'm not a stalker. I contacted his wife after this strange thing with the profile happened. And his reply to my brief message accompanying the friend request was congenial and friendly. I was not harassing him in any way whatsoever.

The author is named Steve Keshner.

Last edited by Argent Towers; 11-20-2009 at 02:44 PM..
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2009, 02:49 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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Here: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000033758020

The result that comes up in Google has an alias (stevekeshner) that appears to no longer work. I found the above profile by using Facebook's internal search. If it doesn't work for you, I assume he has you blocked. I am able to see his profile picture and a list of his friends.
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  #17  
Old 11-20-2009, 02:53 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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That's the wrong Steve Keshner. I saw his profile; I remember what he looked like, and he most definitely was not that guy. This writer's Facebook listing is for "Steve Keshner" and not "Steven Keshner." Do you see a "Steve Keshner"?

Last edited by Argent Towers; 11-20-2009 at 02:54 PM..
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  #18  
Old 11-20-2009, 02:56 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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Negative. No search results for "Steve Keshner" and the Google search just takes me to the main Facebook homepage. Looks like his profile is gone for some reason.
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  #19  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:08 PM
JerseyFrank JerseyFrank is offline
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If it helps, I have (had?) a friend who had several mutual friends. I noticed I hadn't seen any updates from her recently. I couldn't find her via search, and she had disappeared from my friends list. Similarly, when I went to photos and whatnot that we had comments on together, her name was not a hyperlink and her profile picture wasn't there.

I checked with a mutual friend to see if she was still visible to him. She was. I don't know if she unfriended me or blocked me. I suspect the latter because as you already mentioned, this wasn't the same experience I had when others had un-friended and I found them again.

I don't know what I did to get myself blocked. She was a friend from high school (15 years ago). She is a few years younger and had a bit of a crush on me. I guess that she saw enough about me / talked to me enough to gather whatever info she was looking for and then move on. I don't think she was looking to see my relationship status as much as she was probably just curious about how my life turned out. And then when that curiosity was satisfied she decided she didn't want me peeking at her profile any longer. I'm curious as to why she blocked me, but not enough to have mutual friends relay messages back and forth.
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  #20  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:35 PM
Green Cymbeline Green Cymbeline is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsWhatsit View Post
Negative. No search results for "Steve Keshner" and the Google search just takes me to the main Facebook homepage. Looks like his profile is gone for some reason.
Same result for me. Although in the Google results I clicked on the "cached" copy of his page - try that and see if it's the same one. Let me see if I can link it: http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:...&ct=clnk&gl=us

Try to look at one of his friend's profiles and see if his name is still linked...

Very strange indeed...

Last edited by Green Cymbeline; 11-20-2009 at 03:37 PM..
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  #21  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:45 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
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Possibility: The guy's friends and family aren't aware of this highly debauched and explicit book he wrote, and it didn't occur to him that people who are aware of the book could find him on Facebook, and possibly vice versa, so he freaked out and shut his profile down.

Secondary possibility: Facebook barfed and deleted his profile at a really inopportune moment.
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  #22  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:50 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Originally Posted by MsWhatsit View Post
Possibility: The guy's friends and family aren't aware of this highly debauched and explicit book he wrote, and it didn't occur to him that people who are aware of the book could find him on Facebook, and possibly vice versa, so he freaked out and shut his profile down.
This is an interesting theory, though it seems pretty unlikely to me. I can't imagine he would want to hide a book that he published, himself, under his own name, from his friends and family, especially since the book has been out for almost nine years.
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  #23  
Old 11-20-2009, 06:00 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Originally Posted by FalconFinder View Post
One of my friends' profiles isn't always visible. It's bizarre. Nothing like what's described here, but it took me a bit of switching friend views to find her profile. There's some sort of oddball glitches going on.
I have a couple of friends (not very close friends) whose profiles have sporadically disappeared from Facebook only to later reappear. It's happened several times with one woman in particular. The first time this happened I assumed the woman had unfriended me, but then I didn't see her on the friends lists of mutual friends either. I thought then that she must have deleted her profile, but a few days later she appeared again on my friends list. This means she can't have UNfriended me, as re-friending me would have required sending another friends request.

Since I'm not all that close with this person I've never asked her what was up, but I suspect it's some kind of glitch with Facebook. This woman has a LOT of Facebook friends, upwards of 1000, so maybe the system can't always handle it. I guess it's also possible she occasionally sets her profile to be more private and then changes it back, but I can't think why she'd keep doing that again and again.
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  #24  
Old 11-20-2009, 10:03 PM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
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Another possibility, he was originally flattered and happy to friend you but then had second thoughts about having strangers as friends on facebook and decided to unfriend you and make it difficult for the same situation to happen again.
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  #25  
Old 11-21-2009, 10:39 AM
Martha Medea Martha Medea is offline
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Looks like he left FB. If you choose one of his friends from the cached profile, and look at their friends list, he doesn't appear.
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  #26  
Old 11-21-2009, 08:11 PM
Loach Loach is offline
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You contact a complete stranger and the first thing you do is ask him about his religious views? Doesn't that seem a bit forward to you? Even if his book dealt with such issues he may not want to talk about private matters with strangers. I know I wouldn't want to.
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  #27  
Old 11-21-2009, 08:21 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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He's already talking about his religion with strangers by publishing the book. Any author who writes anything and allows the public to see it is taking on that responsibility. Of course, it's his choice to not speak to anyone about it, and I don't begrudge him that, if that is (as it seems) the case here.
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  #28  
Old 11-22-2009, 02:35 PM
Dandmb50 Dandmb50 is offline
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Regarding Facebook if you make a comment on your wall, how do you edit it? I don't use it very often but always wondered how to edit a comment you make on your own facebook page?
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  #29  
Old 11-22-2009, 03:54 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Originally Posted by Dandmb50 View Post
Regarding Facebook if you make a comment on your wall, how do you edit it? I don't use it very often but always wondered how to edit a comment you make on your own facebook page?
I don't think you can edit them, but you can remove them. If you mouse over your own post, a "Remove" button should appear on the right.
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  #30  
Old 11-22-2009, 10:37 PM
Hadrian's Wall Hadrian's Wall is offline
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I do the same thing with my facebook account. The option for showing up on being searched can be fine-tuned in the privacy setting. You can set the privacy to be only searched by friends, friends of friends, or by everyone. There's an option at the bottom that allows you to add exceptions to the rule. This allows you the ability to modulate whether people in your network (e.g. school, city, et. al.) can view your profile. This ability can further be utilized by changing how much information is available to the public.
So, you are not necessarily blocked, just un-friended, and he ramped up his privacy settings.
But I do that mostly to hide from the in-laws
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  #31  
Old 11-23-2009, 12:17 PM
Chris Luongo Chris Luongo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
He's already talking about his religion with strangers by publishing the book. Any author who writes anything and allows the public to see it is taking on that responsibility. Of course, it's his choice to not speak to anyone about it, and I don't begrudge him that, if that is (as it seems) the case here.
I'm not sure about Facebook etiquette and I can't speak for Mr. Keshner, but I've always considered private messaging something to be used for matters that are truly private or personal.

I'm a member of several car-electronics message boards (similar in layout to the Straight Dope boards), specializing in installation of alarms and remote starters.

All past discussions are there, with plenty of useful information, for anyone who wishes to use the search feature. That's the beauty of it: I might answer one person's technical question (or he'll answer mine), but the answer remains there for many others in the future.

In my opinion, private messaging is for something like "Chris, are you looking for work?" Or: "Chris, I'll be in your city next week; let's have coffee."

Whenever I receive a private message with something like "Chris, what color is the starter wire in a 2006 Altima?" I don't even answer it. The person should have put the question on the public board for all to answer, and all to see.

If I had a question for Mr. Kesher about some of his religious beliefs, or asking him to clear something up from his book, I would have put it on his "wall" or whatever the public part of his Facebook is.
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  #32  
Old 01-21-2012, 06:15 PM
Victros Victros is offline
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That happened to me recently. A friend of mine disappeared from my FB friends and then suddenly reappeared. But he's gone again now, and he suddenly shows up in search, but it says that the page could not be found, I may have clicked an expired link etc. So I'm not sure what it could be, unless the account was taken down. Or maybe a FB glitch.
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  #33  
Old 01-22-2012, 08:09 AM
Canadjun Canadjun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colophon View Post
But surely "Block" shouldn't stop the profile appearing on Google searches? Or is there an option to have no public profile presence at all?
A Facebook user can block public searching of their Facebook profile (I do):
Quote:
Originally Posted by Facebook
Public search controls whether people who enter your name in a search engine will see a preview of your Facebook timeline. Because some search engines cache information, some of your timeline information may be available for a period of time after you turn public search off.
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  #34  
Old 01-23-2012, 08:49 AM
BigT BigT is offline
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Has the guy gotten a public Facebook for his life as an author yet? Nearly every person in the entertainment business that I am aware of has this set up. That way private stuff stays private, but you still get to reach out to your fans. And, surprisingly enough, a lot of rather famous people do respond if you talk to them.
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  #35  
Old 01-23-2012, 08:48 PM
isaiahrobinson isaiahrobinson is offline
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It's not strange - he just blocked you, that's all. Unless I'm missing something the OP never said his profile ceased to show up on Google; he said it still shows up in Google search results, but when the OP clicks on it it now takes him to an error page. That's exactly what happens when you block someone.

The issue with people "disappearing" from Facebook periodically is a different one; I have a few friends who've done that. I think it just means they've ramped their privacy settings up to the fullest extent, such that no one can even see them. But from what you the OP described it sounds like the classic case of blocking someone. It might not be personal; it might just have been the first time a reader found him on Facebook, and maybe that was something he hadn't anticipated and realized he wasn't very comfortable with. That would explain why he accepted your friend request then blocked you, to try (obviously unsuccessfully) to avoid seeming rude.
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  #36  
Old 01-23-2012, 10:23 PM
rhubarbarin rhubarbarin is offline
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I have friends that occasionally suspend/'delete' their facebook pages, and something similar happens - all their comments etc will disappear (which is what prompts me to go looking), but sometimes their name and icon will still show up on your friend list or in searches, for a while at least. But when you try to click through to view their profile you can't, it tells you something's wrong/expired. And they are also unsearchable through google.

I'm sure it's them 'deleting' their FB profile rather than blocking me, because it's usually people I know IRL who have done it, so they tell me themselves and I hear from other people that their account is suspended.

Last edited by rhubarbarin; 01-23-2012 at 10:23 PM..
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  #37  
Old 01-23-2012, 10:43 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Jezus, I can't believe this thread is still kicking. Yes, he just blocked me. I've had one further exchange with him since this thread; he keeps to himself and lives a very private life. I respect his privacy.
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  #38  
Old 08-20-2013, 02:36 PM
Ccrevival Ccrevival is offline
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Similar situation. On mobile I can follow name link but page disappears. The change happened today. Is it deactivated and I'm looking at cache?
Some tags are gone, some present.
Has user deleted account or blocked and changed privacy?

[real name and Facebook link redacted by moderator]

Last edited by Gary "Wombat" Robson; 08-20-2013 at 07:24 PM.. Reason: real name and Facebook link redacted
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  #39  
Old 08-20-2013, 06:43 PM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
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If you log out of Facebook will the profile still be blocked for you, as in on the IP level? Can you block IP's, vs. users? [I've never used FB so pardon my ignorance...]
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  #40  
Old 08-20-2013, 07:26 PM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ccrevival View Post
Similar situation. On mobile I can follow name link but page disappears. The change happened today. Is it deactivated and I'm looking at cache?
Some tags are gone, some present.
Has user deleted account or blocked and changed privacy?
[moderating]
While anyone is welcome to post their own personal information here (as I have done), please don't post someone else's without their permission. I have removed the name and Facebook link from your post.
[/moderating]
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  #41  
Old 08-22-2013, 04:02 AM
Isilder Isilder is offline
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Originally Posted by John DiFool View Post
If you log out of Facebook will the profile still be blocked for you, as in on the IP level? Can you block IP's, vs. users? [I've never used FB so pardon my ignorance...]
Nothing to do with IP address or even computers. Its only about the user who is logged in. I could find someone who blocked me using google, or a 2nd account.
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