The other night Carin was annoyed that somebody had, not for the first time, added her to a group on Facebook without any sort of warning or permission. I agreed that this would be irritating and then, quite reasonably I thought, asked if there was some setting that she hadn’t gotten around to changing.
“No,” she said. “There isn’t a setting for that.”
Carin is a very honest, intelligent person. I knew she was most likely right and certainly wasn’t lying to me for fun. But my brain, which I also like to consider intelligent at times, refused to accept something so profoundly unintelligent.
You can’t control what you join on Facebook? That can’t be right! It just can’t! Surely the collective brain power under that umbrella has heard of a checkbox before. One that says “do not allow others to add me to groups automatically.”
That link is from this year, but I see complaints about this going as far back as 2011 looking no further than the front page of Google.
That’s some bullshit. Some deliberate bullshit, at that. And I’m not even sure who it’s supposed to benefit. If it’s me, I’m mad at my friend for spamming me, I have a negative impression of the group even if it might be one I would otherwise enjoy, and I hate Facebook for being garbage enough to allow the first two things to happen.
Say what you will about Twitter, but at least they’ve never forced me to follow a thousand people and then made me do all of the work to get rid of them.
When you are added to a new group, Facebook sends you a notification. Click on the Groups listing at the left of your newsfeed and locate the new group. Click on its name to go to the group page. If you aren’t interested in being in the group, you can immediately opt out by clicking the Joined button and selecting Leave Group. After you leave a group, you can’t be added by anyone else unless you ask to be re-added to the group.
If you decide to remain in the group, you’ll see group posts in your news feed unless you select the Unfollow Group option, also under the Joined button on the group’s page, and you can post to the group.