facebook question : can you remove a friend without them being notified? If so. how?

I was wondering if there is any way to do this. When I first joined Facebook, I accepted just about everyone’s friend request. However, some of the people I just don’t know. I assume my name matched someone in their life, I just approved it figuring I must not be remembering them off-hand, and then realizing after some research that I did not go to high school with this person.

I don’t even know how to remove a friend, but if I do that, will that person be notified?

Go to the home page of the person you want to ‘de-friend’ (which you can do just by clicking on his or her name). Look in the left-hand column and at the bottom you’ll see a clickable option to ‘remove from friends’. This person will not know you have done this, at least in the sense that there is no automatic notification of any kind.

At the bottom of every Facebook page is a list of options going from ‘About’ to ‘Help’, and the Help pages explain how to do everything, including removing someone from your Friends list.

Not directly answering the question, but offering some further advice. To my knowledge, in this socially sensitive area, there are three options here:

  1. Remove their access to your profile: create a group with minimal access to your profile, and drop non-friends into this. This will avoid the potential for insult-by-defriending, but they’ll see shag-all about you. I have done this to my elderly relatives, who really wouldn’t appreciate all the bawdy humour on wall, status updates, etc. but would be upset if I defriended them.

  2. Defriend: as ianzin instructs. They will not be on your friends list any more, but you will still appear in their Facebook searches, and they in yours, and depending on your or their privacy settings, parts of profiles, pics, comments, etc. may be mutually visible. They will only find out you’re no longer on their friends list if they go looking. An ex-girlfriend has done this to me.

  3. Nuclear: you can block a former friend. This means that once you have done this, the two of you do not exist to each other on Facebook - and I believe some historical interaction between you will also be erased. If their name comes up at all, it will be sans link. However, if your privacy settings are lax, you will still show up as a Facebook member on a Google search. This person will not be notified you have blocked them. I have done this to one ex-girlfriend.

Facebook, for all its wonderful benefits, can be a social minefield, and it’s only getting worse as the entire world gets on the damn thing. I reckon someone could make a fortune out of being the FB Miss Manners.

Removing a friend does send them a notification.


I’ve never been notified when people defriended me. Is it new?

Actually, that’s True. It doesn’t send any notification. The fact remains that you are no longer friends, so they can discover that if a person is no longer in their friend list. But no notification is sent.

Edit: Nevermind. I completely mistyped my first post, and omitted the word “not”.


If you have a bunch of people you want to de-friend, a quicker way is to just go to your friend list (Friends -> All Friends [or maybe it’s called View All]) and just start clicking the X’s by their names if you want rid of them. It’d be a lot faster than going to each person’s page.

Yeah, I meant Munch’s assertion was false - but since Munch mistyped, the entire discussion is moot.

I believe there are third-party products that tap into FB and give much more comprehensive action reports - there was something called ___boy (can’t remember the first bit) that does all this sort of thing. And stuff like an application that groups people by mutual photographs, then builds a “friends map”, which can be very interesting indeed.

For want of a “not” … :slight_smile:

Since we’re asking about facebook…

I just clicked on a friend’s page I hadn’t seen an update for lately. He’s been pretty active the last week or so, but haven’t seen a notification. I doubt that he’d put me on a “don’t send Munch an update” blacklist, since I can see his posts on his wall, right? Clearly I must have accidentally blocked him at some point.

Anyway to unblock him from my update page?

You could try the old “why-I-didn’t-want-to-go-to-summer-camp” strategy.

Start a new Facebook page, and tell everybody except the people you want to drop. Then just abandon the first one.

Your friends switched summer camps to avoid you? :confused:

Yes, in theory. In my personal experience, this just doesn’t always work reliably. There was one person I wanted to defriend and no matter how often (or how emphatically) I used the ‘x’ to ex-friend them… this person still showed up in my Friends list. Going to the person’s own page and clicking on ‘de-friend’ seems to work much more reliably. YMMV.

Uhhh, the joke is supposed to be that my family moved away without telling me.

If you don’t know these people, why do you care if they’re notified?

At the bottom of the Live Feed, there should be a link labelled “Edit Options”. Click on that. If you accidentally put him in the “Hide User” pile, you can un-hide him there.

Boom. Thanks!

One thing for the OP to keep in mind – if you and this person have several mutual friends, then facebook will probably offer you as a “suggestion” to the other person once you’re no longer friends.