Facebook is moving to try to help free its users from the spam friend requests that can plague the service. Facebook is to flesh out its “ignore” option on friend requests to add more detail.
At the moment, if you choose to ignore a friend request then that request is, effectively, rejected. However, according to the folks at InsideFacebook, the social network is currently working to add options that will allow users who have opted to ignore a friend request to report it as spam/abuse or to mark it as a person you genuinely don’t know. It’s relatively simple, but fits well with Facebook’s recent statements to the effect that it’s working on “crowdsourcing” solutions to more problems.
Of course, we’re not sure what happens when you mark a user as someone you don’t know… Users are presented with a dialogue box that says something along the lines of, “You are about to mark this fried request as one from someone you do not know at all.” Exactly what effect that has on their account, or indeed, on your own account, but we’d imagine it’s nothing monumental unless a bundle of people happen to report you for the same reason.
Facebook has been moving more and more towards a model whereby its own users would be able to police it lately, with the news emerging last week that the company had set up and invited a handful of users to a group that would monitor and report inappropriate content doing the rounds on to service. Indeed, it seems that Facebook’s vast team of support staff could be rendered a lot more effective if users were empowered, as groups, to handle some of the situations that Facebook staff currently have to handle.
Still, it’s hard to envision a world where that kind of deployment won’t be abused somehow…