One of my wonderful Facebook friends, who I actually met first in real life (he goes to my school) is social enough to send out “extremely funny” messages to all of his friends on Facebook. Truthfully, I didn’t even want to see the joke he sent to his 20-something friends in the first place, but one message is enough to ignore.
One of Facebook’s cute features allows one to have large threads that multiple people can reply to, even if some of the initial recipients of the first message are not added as a friend to any other person in the thread. This could translate into the thread continuing to be replied to for months, which is what is really bothering me.
Facebook doesn’t really want to help stop what it, in effect, spamming of friends. You could consider this feature to be some type of friend spamming mechanism, since every time a member of the message thread replies, you get an email from Facebook announcing it. As I found out, there isn’t even a way to unsubscribe from the thread – so if your friend’s friends are abnormal and find that a multi-recipient thread is the way to chatter about useless topics, there isn’t even a way to pull yourself out of the madness.
Here’s an email exchange I had with Facebook support:
from Facebook Support
reply-to Facebook Support
date Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 7:26 PM
subject Re: INBOX: A thread is sending me unwanted messages
Unfortunately, the ability to remove yourself from a thread is not yet available. I am sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks for the suggestion. We will certainly keep it in mind as we continue to improve the site.
Thanks for contacting Facebook,
—–Original Message to Facebook—–
From: Michael Perlman (****@gmail.com)
Subject: INBOX: A thread is sending me unwanted messages
User id: 516******
Description of problem: One of my Facebook friends sent a message to all of his friends (including me) at the time. Now, people originally brought into the thread are still replying, and I continue to receive unwanted messages (and emails from Facebook telling me about the replies, as a result). Is there a way that I can be removed from the thread?
Browser: Opera/9.50 (Windows NT 5.1; U; en)
—–End Original Message to Facebook—–
Supposedly, Facebook is known for being super-sensitive to some types of misuse of the site (case in point: Robert Scoble was suspended from Facebook for testing an unreleased data-mining tool from Plaxo, and many others have been kicked for sending a few too many messages or having too many friends), but from my experiences, they are way off bat in terms of keeping users from annoying each other.