What Does It Mean to Hide Friend Requests on Facebook?

by David Nield

You're under no obligation to accept every friend request that comes your way on Facebook; if you'd rather not be linked to someone in this way, you can hide the request or delete it completely. The person in question receives no notification that the request has been hidden or removed.

Hiding Friend Requests

Friend requests appear under their own icon on the toolbar at the top of every Facebook page. The two available options by each request enable you to confirm the friendship or hide it by clicking "Not Now." The other party only receives a notification if the friendship is confirmed; otherwise, there is no indication that you've seen the friend request. Anyone who has sent you a friend request that has been hidden won't be able to see any of your updates on Facebook unless you've chosen to make them public.

Reviewing Friend Requests

To view the status of all your pending friend requests, click the "View all" link at the bottom of the friend requests pop-up window. Any requests that you have previous hidden are shown here -- you can choose to confirm the connection, or delete the request permanently. The same screen also shows a list of people Facebook thinks you might know, based on mutual connections. Click the "Add friend" button next to any of these users to send a friend request of your own. According to the Facebook Community Standards, you should only send friend requests to people you know in real life.

Timeline Privacy

Bear in mind that some of your updates and parts of your Timeline may still be visible to Facebook users who aren't confirmed friends. Content set as "Public" (via the audience selector tool) can be viewed by anyone on Facebook. To check which parts of your Timeline are public, open the actions drop-down menu on the Timeline itself (the small black gear icon under your cover photo), choose "View As" and then check the viewing option is set to "Public." Your view of the Timeline will then match that of anyone with a pending friend request.

Changing Friend Request Permissions

Facebook enables you to control which users are able to send you friend requests. To do this, open up the privacy shortcuts drop-down menu (the padlock symbol on the toolbar) and click the "Who can contact me?" link. Under the "Who can send me friend requests" heading is a drop-down menu -- you can either allow anyone to send you a friend request, or only friends of friends.

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