What Happens When You Ignore a Friend Request on Facebook

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What happens when you ignore a friend request on Facebook.

As a social networking site, Facebook’s primary use is as a way to connect you with friends and family so you can keep in touch, plan events, share photos, and interact. When someone finds you on Facebook, they must send a “Friend Request” to you before being added to your friends list. If you have your privacy settings set to allow only certain things to be viewable by those who aren’t on the friends list; the person cannot view these items or your full profile until you approve their request.

But what happens to those friend requests that you choose to ignore? The ones from an ex or maybe a long ago friend from high school that you don’t really want to reconnect with. Or maybe you are wary about becoming Facebook friends with coworkers, bosses, or even family members. Maybe it simply is someone you don’t know, the friend request could be a way to spam your account or be someone pretending to be someone else. Whatever the reason there will be a time when someone friends you and you choose to ignore the request.

When a friend request appears you get a notification and are able to view that person’s limited profile for a certain number of days. This allows you to see some photos and information about the person to aid in deciding whether or not to approve the request. You’ll also see their name and mutual friends the two of you share on Facebook.

If you ignore the request by taking no action or by clicking “Ignore” next to the friend request the person will be unable to view your full profile or show up on your friends list. After a certain amount of time you will also lose the temporary access to viewing their Facebook profile. 

The person is notified only if you accept the friend request. There is no notification to them that you ignored the request and no wall post or news feed post appears saying that the request was not approved. 

Page 2 of 3 However the person can deduce that they haven’t been accepted into your friends list on Facebook in one of three ways. The first way is that upon visiting your profile and if you have your privacy settings set to allow any users to see your friends list; the person can check your list and see their name is not on there. 

Also any mutual friends you two may have shows up in their profile. If they saw you had friends in common before making the friend request they can check the mutual friends’ profiles and see that your account does not show up as mutual friends of them and that other friend.

The third way is by simply looking you up again on Facebook. Your “public profile” is displayed along with an “Add as Friend” button at the top center of your profile. This disappears when a friend request that is pending is accepted by you. This is a clear sign that you did not accept the friend request.

Your Facebook profile is yours and the choice is yours as to who you allow to see information on your profile and who you accept as Facebook friends. If someone confronts you about ignoring their request you can request that Facebook blocks them. Or if the person is someone you know offline, you could explain why you didn’t accept it (ex. For coworkers; I prefer to keep my Facebook profile limited to friends and family outside of work or ex. For family; I prefer to keep my Facebook profile for my college friends only.) or if they are likely to be upset or hurt by this choice you may just have to accept their request and change the privacy settings to limit what they can see.


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