How to Artfully Cull Your Facebook Friends List

Blocking Users in Facebook

When you click the link to report or block a user, Facebook prompts you to select from these options.
When you click the link to report or block a user, Facebook prompts you to select from these options.
Stephanie Crawford for HowStuffWorks

Sometimes removing a user from your Friends list in Facebook doesn't go far enough when you're trying to avoid contact with that person. This is especially true if you feel you're being harassed or bullied by a user. Or,, you might just want to hide from someone for a while. Block Lists can help you take this extra step.

Facebook has three types of Block Lists: users, app invites and event invites. For any users you block, Facebook does the following:


  • Removes the user from your Friends list (if applicable)
  • Prevents you and that user from finding each other when searching other users
  • Prevents you and that user from viewing any part of each other's content
  • Prevents you and that user from seeing comments and likes on mutual friends' pages

Keep in mind, Facebook does not control any connections you might have through third party applications in Facebook or elsewhere on the Internet.

To view and edit Block Lists, go to your privacy settings (Account > Privacy) and click the linked text under Block Lists at the bottom of the page. There, you can enter the name or e-mail address of each user you want to block. Facebook will search for matches based on what you enter and prompt you to choose from the search results. You can also use the "Report/Block This Person" link on a user's profile page to create the new block.

When you create the block for an existing friend, Facebook will prompt you for more information. First, Facebook gives you the choice between unfriending or blocking, indicating the difference between those choices. Then, Facebook asks you to optionally select whether your block is for something simple, like just being annoying, or for a more serious infraction, such as harassment or bullying. Be sure to provide this feedback if you want Facebook to take any follow-up action regarding the user you're blocking.

While a user block is active, from that user's point of view, you no longer exist on Facebook. In addition, that user doesn't exist from your point of view, either, though you remain in control over the block. You can reverse a block using the "remove" link for that person in your Block List settings. You'll also have to add the person to your Friends list again if you want to reconnect. When you do this, keep in mind that you won't be able to block the same user again for 48 hours.

When blocking users, as when hiding content with custom Friends lists, be prepared if someone asks about your actions. If it's someone you're just trying to avoid online and don't see in your everyday life, you might want to avoid responding to any retaliating e-mails or contact attempts at other Web sites. If it's someone that could be a threat offline, especially a physical threat, contact your local law enforcement agency for advice on what to do.

Throughout this article, you've gathered tips on how to cull your Friends list in Facebook and discovered some Facebook features that can help. Cut on over to the next page for even more information on keeping your Friends list in check.

More Great Links

  • Ideas For Trimming Your Facebook Friends List


  • Facebook. "Help Center, Friends: New Friends Page." (July 11, 2011)
  • Facebook. "Help Center, Privacy: Blocking people." (July 11, 2011)