De-friended on facebook. Protocol?

So the weirdest thing happened today. I’m facebook friends with a work colleague that I’ve always been cool with. We work in different departments and don’t hang out, but we’re always friendly when we see one another. She’s posted responses to some of my updates and I to hers.

I heard she got engaged this past weekend and thought it was weird I didn’t see anything on her facebook page. I went through my friends list and discovered she’s not on there anymore. Strange.

My first thought is she must’ve deleted her profile. We’re not distant enough that she’d delete me because we never talk, and we haven’t had a falling out, so it seemed like a reasonable enough explanation. But sure enough, when I looked I found her profile with a big ol pic of her flashing her new ring.

What gives? Should I shoot her an email congratulating her and asking her what’s up? Or should I just ignore it and go about my business?

Facebook sure has made social exchanges much more complicated…

As with all advice on message boards, I don’t know you or the other person involved, so YMMV. But…

Just shrug it off and don’t even mention it. Being Facebook “friends” with workplace colleagues brings a whole set of issues, which I didn’t really think through when I first friended some work folks. I haven’t defriended them, but I sure wish I’d never friended them in the first place, and I don’t add anyone else from my workplace (unless I’m genuinely close and friendly with them).

Perhaps she’s just had some advice from someone along the lines of “oh no, don’t have someone from your work as a Facebook friend”, and done some defriending.

Burn the bridge and f***'em. I’d add them to your “BLOCKED” list, so that they can’t even see you. Then just pretend like it never happened.

There’s a lot of legitimate reasons they might not want to be friends with you online. I personally avoid work colleagues like the plague on facebook–there is only a downside there, not an upside.

I couldn’t resist sending the email. Turns out, she got busted for posting some comments about a trial she did a couple weeks ago and was forced to de-friend everyone from work. Reason 559 why working for the Public Defender’s office is so much better than the District Attorneys office.

I knew there had to be some kind of explanation.

I was unfriended a while back by someone I used to work with. This whole group of us working on one project all became FB friends, and she’s still friends with all of them, just not me.

I would love-love-LOVE to ask her why she did it, but I can’t bring myself to deal with the resulting drama. I can only console myself with the assumption that she did it because I was my work contract was extended and hers was not.

The awesome part was when she asked me to be her friend on LinkedIn after she unfriended me on FB.

Is there a chance she accidentally unfriended me? I doubt it…

I’m glad that you, OP, received a good explanation for why she had to unfriend you.

I don’t really know what the protocol is for “friending” coworkers. I’m a manager so does it look bad if I only friends some people and not others? Do I try to friend more senior managers? Do I need to go and redact all my photos? It’s all really a big pain.

And quite honestly, Facebook is just creating more ways to hate people I barely know and haven’t seen in years. Whether it is their ignorant and ill-informed political rants, constant plugging of their multi-tier marketing (AKA “pyramid”) scheme de jure, generic photos of their suburban house and kids, photos of dorky guys posing with skanky girls who look like Russian prostitutes, “So and so has sent you some virus infected SPAM they thought would be cute”, "…can’t wait for the weekend!"s and assorted pictures of grown adults drunk in a bar acting stupid, all it seems to be doing is helping me remember why we probably lost touch 5 years ago.

The protocol is to pretend it never happened. If forced to acknowledge that it did, you then should pretend that you never noticed and/or assumed it was an accident.

There are lots of reasons to unfriend someone on Facebook you’re perfectly friendly with in real life – some people want to use it in a more intimate, bloggy fashion than is compatible with having all your distant relatives and coworkers as friends, so they’ll go through and purge out all the acquaintances from time to time. Don’t take it personally.

Nothing constructive to say, just wanted to have a mini-rant:

A while back, an old acquaintance added me on facebook. As we had a lot of mutual fb friends, I felt ignoring her would seem rude, despite never liking her much. In real life, she is smug, self-satisfied, self-obsessed and insufferable, the type of person that might say “Oh, your house just burned down and your entire family was killed by yetis? Well, this will cheer you up: I just got a new car.” (I’m not actually exaggerating much here.)

Anyway, fb was a perfect medium for her self-congratulatory messages, with constant “Me and my amazing life/house/husband/career/kids/pets” updates flooding my news feed. And then it stopped. Turns out she defriended me, but kept all our mutual friends.

So, I never liked her before, didn’t like her on facebook, didn’t want her as a friend, but I was polite (or stupid) enough not to defriend her. I know she did me a favour by dumping me. But how dare she?? Makes me feel like a spineless idiot.

I’ve only been defriended once. I friended this girl I vaguely knew from college because she was mutal friends with about a dozen of my fraternity brothers. So I assumed she was just some other groupie or someone’s friends or whatever.

Every single post (and she posts like ten times a day) is a plug for some stupid get rich quick pyramid scheme. “Hey I see you are into [whatever]. Have you thought about blasting out with [product]!?” Finally I leave some post on her wall like “I tried [product] and not only did I find a job for twice my salary. I was able to bench 3 times my weight (AND I lost 15 lbs of fat) and run a marathon…” and so on. She defriended and blocked me in about 5 minutes.:smiley:

Mostly it just seems to be a devide for people I went to high school with to continue to enjoy my wit and sarcasm into adulthood.

Yes, I’m also very wary of adding work colleagues to FB. I actually make it a rule to never, ever, ever post work-related stuff on FB at all. When it comes to work-related acquaintances and such, I’d never ever take it personally if I was de-friended. A lot of times it has to do with using FB as a networking or business tool, and isn’t personal at all when acquaintances remove you.

Sheesh. LinkedIn is for colleagues, and Facebook is for people you don’t mind occasionally mortifying.

I’m a manager. No way in hell any of my team (or anybody else at my employer, for that matter) is getting on my friends list. I’ve even preemptively searched out and blocked some of the more terminally annoying and/or clueless, just so I don’t have to worry about it.

I actually caught one of my underlings on Facebook. Her friend happened to be dating a friend of mine and he had posted a bunch of photos of them in some bar at a bar on St Pattricks Day during what appeared to be work hours. I didn’t really care though, but I did let her know since I could see them, someone who actually gave a shit could come across them as well.

I know it wasn’t the case here, but a few times I have had friends randomly deleted after Facebook went through one of its buggy phases. One friend was actually deleted TWICE–both times I knew there was no way, so I re-requested her with a teasing note (“Don’t you sniff like me?”) and she’d write back something along the lines of “What the HELL? I did NOT delete you!” and re-add me. When a couple of mutual friends commented on one of my photos, one realized they could no longer access the profile of another and commented something along the lines of, “WTH? RuffFriend, you defriended me?” Other friend replied, “WTF? No I didn’t, how weird! Re-request me and I’ll re-add you!” A third mutual friend came in and said that every now and then she has friends get dropped, and she often doesn’t know it until they request to be re-added.

So, while in this case the person did indeed de-friend, it’s not always the case.

Ignore it. Some people find the number of friends overwhemling and just pare it back to those they have active relationships with and get rid of the “once in while” people. If you start caring about facebook at all you’re caring too much.

I would have ignored it.

I have coworkers on my Facebook … and I’ve also had coworkers that I tried to friend, but never responded to the request. Their choice … although I did Google how to cancel a friend request and now I cancel requests that go unanswered after about a week or so.

So lezlers, other than discovering your co-worker was no longer on your friends list, was there anything else different. I mean, I assume that when you go to her page now you get that general page: “Co Worker only allows people she knows to view some information. To see Co Worker’s profile send her a friend request blah blah blah” or whatever that general text is.

Is that what you see now? Or is it similar to when someone is blocked and it’s as if the person’s FB page no longer exists?

I pro-actively blocked a crazy ex on FB once and when I was checking to see how it worked discovered that when you block someone, their FB page appears to no longer exist for you as well. I thought that was interesting. I guess it helps block people who have naughty pics in their public profiles or something.

Something interesting has been happening on Facebook recently - hackers have got at people’s accounts and then chatted with their friends with a story about how they are suddenly in trouble (“I’m stranded and I’ve been mugged!”) and need that person to send money right away. Then, if the person doesn’t send money, the hacker ‘unfriends’ them to see if that will guilt them into sending money. Quite tricky!

That happened to me and I was on to it immediately. Last summer one of my FB friends (American, highly educated) messaged me to say that all her “stuffs” had been stolen (and several other strange misspellings and turns of phrase) and could I send her $100 so she could pay for her flight home. I wasn’t surprised when the real person e-mailed warning all her contacts that her FB account had been hacked. I was in Oxford, the hacker claimed she was in London “on a business trip”. In the spirit of tormenting scammers, I offered to go to the hotel where she said she was staying the next day, asked for the address, and that was the end of that. I think I managed to squeeze in “get lost I know you are a hacker” before s/he signed out.

“I’m stranded and I’ve been mugged!” and the first thing you think to do is hunt down an internet connection so you can post about it on Facebook?

I shudder to think of the credulity it takes for that to actually work.

I agree with the others. If a “defriending” on an internet website gives you pause, you care about it way too much.


Depends on your industry. No one working in the arts is networking on LinkedIn, for example.

This should be in the terms of service, and perhaps formalized in etiquette books. I do think that if I decided to defriend people for some legitimate reason (like the work issue mentioned here) I’d give the folks a heads up “Hey, nothing personal” email.

I was defriended by someone and the only FB interaction we’d had was me liking one of her status updates. It did turn into a somewhat controversial debate thread, in which I did not participate (I loathe FB debate) but it seems odd to defriend based on me clicking the “like” button. Or maybe I came close to running her over in a parking lot in a completely unrelated situation and didn’t notice it? But I am following The **Giraffe **Protocol.