How to Block Other Facebook Users

As you add more friends on Facebook, you may want to block or hide people who post things you find annoying.
Dimitri Vervitsiotis/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Politics, religion and sex are the top three things many of us have been warned since birth not to talk about in polite company. For some folks, apparently, polite company doesn't extend to a Facebook status update. If the rants and raves of one of your so-called Facebook friends have pushed you past the breaking point, read on for solutions that will restore your sanity (without completely ending real friendships).

There are a couple of things that you can do to keep from seeing other people's posts on Facebook, to keep them from seeing yours or both: "hide" and "block" [source: Facebook].

Hiding is the least drastic step you can take to change a Facebook relationship. In the following pages, we'll explain how to hide a friend's post.

Blocking someone removes you entirely from that person's Facebook universe. She can't find you if she searches for you, can't see your posts and won't appear on your status as your spouse, significant other or whatever.

If you aren't ready to completely disavow your friend, you can unfriend someone. If you unfriend a person, you will no longer see any of her status posts and she won't see yours. She won't be notified that you have unfriended her, but you will disappear from her friends list, just as she disappears from yours. If she is very familiar with her friends list, she may notice, and you may have some explaining to do. The difference between blocking and unfriending is that an unfriended person can find you again on Facebook and try to restore the friendship.

Keep in mind that Facebook changes its policies and methods of doing business on a fairly regular basis; they may tweak any of these features in the future.

That said, blocking and hiding former friends on Facebook is easy -- and stealthy. Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of these options.

Can You Tell if Someone Blocked You on Facebook

Think carefully before you block someone. Once you do, you're dead to them in the Facebook universe.
Think carefully before you block someone. Once you do, you're dead to them in the Facebook universe.
Screenshot by Karen Kennedy

There is no short answer to the question, "Can you tell if someone has blocked you on Facebook?" It depends. Your ex-spouse, former friend or awful boss won't get any sort of notification that you've blocked them. However, if you have a history of Facebook contact with the person you blocked or if she is paying close attention to her account and friends list, she'll notice that you've blocked her.

You will disappear from her Facebook world completely -- and she will be gone from yours. If your ex was listed as a partner under your relationship status, he or she will no longer be listed. His face will vanish from your friends list, and you will be absent from your former friend's list as well. In addition, with blocking, your ex-friend will not be able to find you if he searches for you on Facebook. In a virtual sense, you are dead to him.

This is a pretty drastic step to take with people you have to continue to interact with in real life, because chances are, they'll eventually notice that you've dropped out of their virtual world. However, it may be what you choose to do at the end of a bad relationship, if you're being stalked by a former friend or if someone you never see in person posts things you find upsetting or just annoying.

The only way to restore a friendship that you have blocked is for you to reach out with a new friend request to the person you shut out. He or she will not be able to initiate a friendship again.

If you've decided that blocking is the way to go, here are the easy steps to doing it:

  1. Click "account" in the upper right corner of your Facebook page.
  2. Select "privacy settings."
  3. Under "block lists" at the bottom center of the page, click "edit your lists."
  4. At the top, under "block users," add the name or e-mail address of the person you'd like to block.
  5. Click "block."

A much less drastic step, and one that is less likely to be noticed, is to hide someone. On the next page, we'll show you a discreet way to keep those unwanted posts out of sight.

How to Hide Friends on Facebook

Click "hide all by …" to keep your friend's posts from appearing on your news feed.
Click "hide all by …" to keep your friend's posts from appearing on your news feed.
Screenshot by Karen Kennedy

Hiding someone on Facebook is the least extreme, most subtle way to keep someone's status updates from appearing on your home page. This might be the step you want to take with that old high school friend who can't seem to stop posting about how successful her business is or that casual acquaintance who shares way too many pictures of his gerbils -- or someone you see in real life and don't want to upset.

The "hide" option keeps a friend's posts (or posts from games, if you no longer want to be asked to help cultivate your friend's garden) from showing up on your home page. Your friend can still see and comment on your posts, send you messages and write on your wall. She will still show up on your friend list, so if you get wind of some important posting you missed, you can click over to her page to read a post or two.

To hide someone:

  1. Hover your mouse over the right side of one of his or her posts -- maybe one with the 43rd picture of Little Johnny getting his first haircut attached.
  2. An X will appear.
  3. Click the X.
  4. Click either "hide this post" if it's the only one from this person you find offensive or select "hide all by Little Johnny's Mommy" if you don't want any of her posts to appear on your page.

If you decide you want to enjoy more pictures of your friend's Aunt Mildred or maybe your political views change and you don't mind your friend's rants anymore, you can always bring their posts back to your page:

  1. Scroll to the bottom of your home page.
  2. Click "edit options."
  3. In the box showing the list of friends you are hiding, click the X next to the friend's name you want to show again.
  4. Click "save."

Your friend's posts will once again be visible on your home page.

Want to know more about your options on Facebook? Get some face time with the links on the next page.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Facebook Help Center. "Blocking People." (July 20, 2011) http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=841
  • Facebook Help Center. "Removing Friends." (July 20, 2011) https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=770