|Go Back to the Facebook Help Index
Facebook Friend Requests
Updated September 2013
Spammers like to build up large friends lists too, but not to look popular like you might be trying to do, they do it because then when they post a status update with a huge friends list, their post gets forced into everyone's news feed, and once they accomplish that, then all it takes is one malicious link in a status update they use to trick people into clicking on, and they can then infect your computer with a virus, steal your identity, lead you to a phishing page, or a myriad of other very bad things... get it?
Facebook has an automatic reporting system:
When you send a friend request to a stranger, they first are prompted to accept or deny the request, as shown here.
Regardless of whether they accept it or deny it, they are then prompted to answer another question: "Do you know this person outside of Facebook?" - as shown here:
If the person you sent the request to clicks "No" because they are being honest, but want to be friends with you anyways, guess what happens....
YOU GET REPORTED TO FACEBOOK FOR BREAKING THE RULES
because you are actually breaking the rules... you are not allowed to add people as friends that you do not actually know, as that's what spammers do.
All it takes is ONE person to click that "No" link for you to get reported to facebook for breaking the rules.
Your next question is probably:
"But how did all those other people get so many fake friends to make themselves appear popular?"
The answer to that question is that Facebook did not always have this sort of system in place, and the people with a ridiculous amount of friends just added random people a long time ago, before Facebook had this new automatic reporting system in place.
Now think about Facebook's question "do you know this person outside of Facebook" - maybe you do not know the person in real life, but you know them from some other website, like myspace, or twitter, or reddit, etc... that means you DO know them from outside of Facebook, so you should answer "Yes" to "knowing them outside of Facebook", because you actually do.
Now that you know all of this information, you should know that adding strangers is OK, if you know them some other way, other than them just being completely random, right?
That's how Facebook identifies spammers and people creating ALT accounts
(more than one account per person is not allowed either)
"Role Playing" accounts are not allowed either, as pretending to be someone else is against the rules. If your life is so horrible that you feel the need to pretend to be someone you arent online, then you should seek counseling.
Here is what happens if you ignore the rules
Let's say you think you are so crafty that you can just ignore the rules and Facebook will never know... You send a friend request to a random person who has no mutual friends with you, and that person flags you as "No, I do not know this person outside of Facebook"
Your ability to send friend requests gets immediately suspended for 7 days...
that is your first warning.
• 1st warning = 7 days
• 2nd warning = 14 days
• 3rd warning = 30 days
• 4th warning = they lock your account
But what happens if they lock my account because I am too rebellious to care about their rules and I just ignore them and do whatever I want?
Answer: They force you to identify your friends by their current profile photo - so if you are a person that is just adding random people to pretend to be popular on Facebook, you will not be able to identify all the people they ask you to identify. They give you 7 days to attempt to identify a random selection of your friends list, and if you cant, they consider you a spammer, or a fake, or a marketer, or some other type of person that is trying to find a way around their rules, and then they just delete your account. No recourse, there is nothing you can do about it. You are using THEIR website for free, which means they can do anything they want to do.