What the Tech: Defriending fake friends on Facebook

What the Tech


Scroll through your Facebook Friend’s list and you’re almost sure to spot someone you don’t know. But somewhere along the line, you accepted their friend request. Maybe because you have mutual friends, maybe you have mutual interests or maybe you just didn’t want to hurt their feelings. It may be time to de-friend them.

You’re opening your entire life to the stranger. Friends see everything you post. You’re telling them when you’re out of town. You’re showing them what your kids look like and somewhere you’ve probably shown them where your kids go to school. Your phone number and birthday is probably on Facebook along with your home address.

Do you really want to give all that information to someone you don’t know?

If you don’t know them in real life, you don’t know if they are real people.

I got a Facebook friend request a while back from a Lacy Andrews. The profile looked suspicious. Barely anything personal on the timeline and when I did a reverse image search on her profile picture, I discovered it had been stolen from a website. Whoever was behind the profile and the friend request wanted access to my posts, photos, information and friends. If I’d accepted the request, they would have been able to send requests to any or all of my friends, who might accept it, because they saw I was a mutual friend. That’s how scams spread so easily across Facebook.

No one likes fake friends in real life…they’re no good on Facebook either. Remember, a friend on Facebook can see your complete profile and your updates and comments. Before blindly accepting a request, check out their profile, look at their timeline and their friends. If you see no connection at all, you may not want to open up your personal life to them. In March, Facebook announced it had removed over 2 billion fake accounts but also admitted about 5% of all Facebook profiles are fakes.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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