A friend posted a question on facebook asking what you do when someone you don’t know sends a facebook friend request. She was concerned about offending someone she once knew but couldn’t remember if she didn’t accept their request. My response turned into a bit of a rant so I thought I’d post it here rather than as a reply to her post.
Ignore them. If you don’t know them, or don’t remember them, or just don’t want them on your friends list any more, then why should you be friends with them? Your facebook account is your facebook account. If someone knew you and really wanted to be friends with you, they’d include a note to remind you who they are and where you know them from with their friend request. There are plenty of other people out there who’d happily friend them.
I’m pretty ruthless when it comes to facebook. I have my security locked down tight (an ongoing battle with all the changes facebook makes). I don’t accept friend requests from anyone who’s name I don’t recognise and happily delete anyone who posts a lot of what I consider to be crap. If I change my mind and decide I don’t want you knowing anything about what I’m doing I’ll even block you so you can’t see anything that I post to anyone on facebook, even if you’re a friend of a friend.
I do pretty much the same to anyone who emails me jokes or cutesy pics or anything else I consider spam. I let them know just once that while I’d love to receive personal emails letting me know what they are doing with their lives, I am not interested in the junk mail; then if they do it again I blacklist them so their emails are treated as spam. I think it’s particularly offensive of people to send these types of emails in the workplace. And if anyone shares my email address with their friends when they send out group emails I let them know in no uncertain terms just what I think of people who give out other people’s email addresses without permission.