Blocking Someone on Facebook: A True Disconnect?

Last week, I noticed that a Facebook connection of mine had blocked me. When you block someone on Facebook this not only disconnects the friendship but it makes the person invisible to you, as if he or she doesn’t even exist on Facebook at all. The two parties involved cannot see each other’s comments on mutual friend’s photos, status updates or posts. Once a block is put up, there is no way for the two parties to see anything that the other does.

In my mind, blocking someone on Facebook is a very extreme move and it is a feature to use very sparingly. I am looking at my own privacy preferences on Facebook now and I see that I have 3 people blocked. 1 person was a networking contact and I have her blocked because of threatening comments that she made towards me in a political conversation. I had never met her in person and knew nothing about her other than the fact that we had some common interests. The other 2 people are men who sent me emails with inappropriate and suggestive content. I was neither Facebook friends with them nor did I have any friends in common with them. By blocking these men, they can no longer find me on Facebook.

I went to my Facebook settings to make sure that my privacy preferences were intact and that there was truly a disconnect with this person who blocked me. What I discovered was shocking and I believe it is a glitch that should be addressed by Facebook. I found out that I was able to untag myself in this person’s photos. I had the ability to remove my name from whichever pictures I wanted. However, since the person who blocked me “doesn’t exist” to me anymore on Facebook, I was unable to untag this person from MY photos. The relationship was severed by this person and yet this person still has access to my photos. This did not settle well with me.

At this point, I went to my personal Facebook page and put up a status update to ask my connections for their opinions about photos with regards to blocking. I wrote:

“Did you guys know that if you block somebody on Facebook, Facebook automatically unfriends the 2 people involved. However, the parties remain tagged in each other’s photos. I think that if somebody decides to sever a connection & block another person, the 2 people involved should NOT have any access to the other person’s photos. Do you agree or disagree?”

I received many comments on this update and everybody agreed that if there is a disconnect, the photos should be disconnected, too. Here is a sample of the responses:

  • “Would make break-ups and untagging photos a lot easier. Haha.”
  • “Honestly, if it were me and I felt the need to block someone, I’d probably untag or remove any photos of them from my page anyway. I’ve done that before, but then again, I’m efficient like that.”
  • “That does seem like a glitch. You would think if you were blocked it would automatically untag all photos.”
  • “I’d definitely agree with you!”
  • “Completely agree!”

What do you think about blocking? Have you ever been blocked by someone? Have you ever blocked someone else? Could you have been blocked and you haven’t realized it yet?

I have been examining the topic of blocking deeply and will be blogging about the issues that surround this action. There ARE other issues than just the photo tags. Stay tuned…

  • http://www.facebook.com/alethiahdevine Alethiah Devine

    I just got blocked by a neighbor who I wasn’t even FB friends with! I have absolutely no idea why she did this. I found her because I created a FB group for our neighborhood and another neighbor invited her to join. I did FB message her about our upcoming block party, but if she was upset about that she could have just blocked me from sending her FB messages. She appears to have left the neighbors FB group, but we’ll see if she is really gone or if I just can’t see her. By the way, I found out she blocked me when I went to my messages and saw that I couldn’t send a reply to her. I can’t find her in the search anymore, but my friend can. I guess I just have to make it a point to go up to her and say hello and flash a big smile the next time we have a neighborhood event. After all, happiness is the best revenge!

  • Tracey

    I was blocked by my biological sister. A year after she found me she decided that she didnt want me around after all and blocked me. However I have found out through my husbands account that I am still tagged in several photos with her and they include links straight to my account. I tried to remove the tags but received a message that said
    This object is not accessible (it may have been removed or you may no longer have permission to see it) and yet she has permission to keep me tagged. I have tried to contact facebook with this but have received absolutely no response.

  • mia

    I was blocked, and to be sure of it I entered in an other account and saw that the person still was on facebook. it’s so stupid lol and I did nothing wrong to that person he sent me text message after on my cellphone. what a stupid thing to do.

  • http://www.laurenhuston.com Lauren Huston

    Could the block have been made in error?

  • Cw

    I know this is a year old but I have this same issue. I have even deleted the albums and photos but upon using a friends account to check the blocked person, they are still using my photos as profile pictures and covers! So now I don’t know what to do.

  • Enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I blocked an ex, yet she is still at the top of my message friends on the sidebar on my ipad and smart phone. How do i get rid of this, its driving me crazy!

  • Blocking someone is so stupid

    Blocking someone is so stupid
    if you don’t want to be there friend anymore then unfriend
    them my friend likes this person
    who blocked me & this person send me messages I did not Reply to the messages that this person send to me I’ve left this
    person along & have not done everything to them it’s there loss not my Plus there still in my friend list plus I know something about this person that no one know’s about plus I
    Think it was he’s girlfriend Not him

  • random

    when you block someone, all their tags in your photos will automatically disappear. Therefore they cant view those photos again. I just dont like fb automatically unfriend the person I block. I just want to block them a period of time, then resume the status not permanent. If I want to delete them off my list I would unfriend them instead. and blocking is another options

  • ds

    I just unfriended my ex. I can still see her photos and the photos of us together etc. We are both still tagged in these photos. If i block her will it untag me from her photos and her from mine? What if we are both tagged in someone else’s photo… will it untag me? or will it just show my name? im just wondering what she will see in the photos of us? will it have my name shaded out like when someone deactivates their account or will it just simply not show my name?

  • Pingback: Questions about Blocking People on Facebook | Lauren Huston

  • wayno2000

    i had to block somebody, it was my auntys husband and ive known him as far way back as i can remember.1st reason i blocked him was i gave him my email address and all he could ever do was send me emails 3 to 4 times a week i had no idea he was serial pest.2nd reason i did change my profile picture to chris fehn of slipknot yeah it was alittle dark and rough looking but mistakes are normal for humans, he then wrote YUCK!!! like that but i soon relised that he cant keep his mouth to himself some times ,but my freind and his mum that i have on face book guided me and said that having chris fehn as a profile picture was a bit rough looking.3rd reason my auntys husband is a creep as well like when my cousin uploaded a new profile picture he wrote to her “you have such pretty eyes”something like that ,but that freaked out my cousin.ive soon come to realise my auntys husband is the type of person you dont ever communicate with,the best communication is zero communication.even thogh ive known him since way back as a child but through emails and facebook i got to see his true colors.my dad sees him as a bully and i my self see that hes not a smart people orientated person

  • Foxy

    I have another problem. Someone just untagged 9 pics with me. Of course its not easy for me to realize what exact pics with me was deleted ot untagged. But if you know some options which can help to know i would be very thankful coz its important for me right now.

  • Amelie

    Hi Lauren,
    I know thir article is quite old but I still have a question that I can’t resolve and maybe you have the answer. When you blocked someone and he blocked you too and that you have a mutual friend, can the person you blocked see the picture posted by the mutual friend? I guess if I am tagged not but if I am not tagged he can see the picture.
    This is all very vague for me!
    Thank you very much, I love your website!

    Amélie

  • rachel

    There truly is a disconnect. You are blocked from each other.. meanwhile you can still remove yourself from THEIR photos… yet.. you cannot now remove them from your OWN photos… makes no sense. Either make it possible both ways or no ways.

    Personally I think you should still be able to untag yourself but you should also be able to untag people from your photos that you have now blocked or that have now blocked you!!!

    FB sucks! I’m going back to myspace!

  • MKH

    I was blocked by someone I consider a friend. I haven’t said anything, speculate she may have done so while drunk. We’ve quarreled in the past, and truthfully I’m more often the culprit. But blocking seems way harsh! I know that everyone can do what they want with their FB account, but this hurts.

  • http://www.laurenhuston.com Lauren Huston

    Blocking is often done in a hasty manner. I don’t think people really think it through & often do it during emotional moments. If you haven’t done anything that this person could think is overly offensive or harmful then I agree that blocking is harsh. I’m sorry about your friendship.

  • http://www.laurenhuston.com Lauren Huston

    Did you mean that there is NOT a true disconnect? I happen to agree with you about the photos. I think that if Facebook offered a complete disconnect, they would automatically remove photo tags when blocking occurs.

  • http://www.laurenhuston.com Lauren Huston

    I think I understand your question. If not, let me know. If you and another FB user have mutual friends & those mutual friends post photos of you, the person you blocked (or who blocked you) WILL be able to see the images of you. The block does not affect viewing content that mutual friends post.

  • http://www.laurenhuston.com Lauren Huston

    PS – I’m glad that you enjoy my blog! Thanks so much for reading.

  • http://twitter.com/nezalucho101 Luis Angel Neri

    Thanks so much for your insight.. I wondered, since my ex has a niece which is my friend on facebook, if she could see my posts on her profile. Thanks for answering my question.

  • oneeyedjax

    Hi Lauren – I wonder if you can answer this question, but slightly different. What if I block someone and we have a mutal friend. If I post a photo and tag our mutal friend – can the blocked person see that photo (my photo)?

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.tracy.188 Steven Tracy

    Once you block someone they won’t be able to see, comment, or like your post anywhere on facebook. SecureComputerNetworks
    still offers unique electrical wiring services.

  • carolann

    Facebook has helped many communicate, but it has also divided many. My brother and sister in law blocked me in January, and even though I am supposed to be a grown-up, it has hurt me. I don’t live in the same town as most of my family and we often use facebook to keep in touch. Now I have to message them through my daughter who isn’t blocked. I thought I was a nice person, and don’t do well when people, especially familly don’t like me. I never said anything ugly to them, I only had a different opinion on many things. They are the type who don’t tolerate anything different. It is hard to lose your family.

  • Scarlet

    Nobody said you yourself don’t need to block or specifically said you shouldn’t, whoever it was- that anonymous person you commented on, was just talking about their self; nothing to do with you.

  • blue

    Something cute? Lol that is ridiculous, you must have only incredibly serious people on your friend list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tatianaka Tatiana Vega

    Hi Lauren!

    I can see this is an old article. But I just got blocked by my boyfriend. (ex-boyfriend). And we were tagged in a lot of pictures together, from my albums. Do you know if FB changed this? Because every single picture he was tagged in from my albums, got removed. And I don`t think I could untag himself in every each picture under 5 minutes. And I guess the same thing would be if I blocked someone who had a lot of pictures of me, I would automatically be untag from the persons pictures. Thank you :)

  • Pingback: Consequences of Blocking on Facebook | TPE Post

  • guest

    I block people frequently. And the reason is because when I just unfriend somebody I decide I don’t like or don’t want to engage with I get a whiny email from them about how I’m so mean. Or alternately it turns into some weird passive aggressive facebook stalking of my page. Once i decide I don’t want someone in my life, that means blocking. If I am going to unfriend you, I’m going to block you instead because if I don’t want you on my friend list I don’t want you in my facebook sphere at all. I don’t consider blocking “extreme”, I consider it getting back to where you were before this person you are totally not compatible with stumbled upon you and made your facebook life more annoying.

  • beba

    Blocking the person es the only way to stop private messages. Thats why deleting sometime is not enough.

  • SDC

    agree with you.

  • niniharris1 .

    Life goes on

  • Axel

    I’m not sure if you still read this but it wouldn’t hurt to say something. Someone had recently blocked me for no reason. I don’t even know this person really well and they had added me around December 21st. All of a sudden they deleted me so curiously I asked them if I had done anything wrong. Then they blocked me. I don’t go about harassing folks online because it’s not my thing and this is somewhat bothering me. I had try looking stuff up online on how to deal with this but everything I try seems to no longer work. Unlike other people, I still am able to look them up but when I click their name it says “Sorry, this page isn’t available…” However, when I go to the Manage Blocking section and try looking them up on there, their name doesn’t come up. People had try getting friends to look up the person’s facebook email but that seems to no longer work. I even tried reporting the message in my inbox and it says “Report Conversation” Under that, their name, and next to their name ‘Blocked’. I have no idea if this had actually done anything. Also, is there a way to actually directly contact Facebook? Their help center really is no help at all.

  • joni

    I have had to block a family member but somehow they are going to another family members facebook page and getting my pictures then putting them on their facebook as a profile picture. I don’t know what family member that this certain person is getting my pictures from.

  • Alex

    Likewise, I know this is an old article, but it is relevant to something that’s happened.

    I used to live with 4 housemates. We all used to have drunk nights out, and there would invariably be photos. These seemed to only be uploaded and tagged by one of the guys, who after a few years turned into a complete dickhead and fell out with all of us and blocked us. Now all the photos and videos are gone and I’m gutted! I would imagine there’s no way to ever access these again??

    Also, I tend to block people who delete me. I know I get nothing out of that, because they’ve deleted me, so they wouldn’t know – but I think to myself, “f*ck you, deleting me for no reason” *BLOCK*

  • Sam Harris

    It’s odd I have been blocked by people who I haven’t done anything too. It’s really sad honestly. Whatever their issues are isn’t mine.

  • J

    A girl I used to date ended up blocking me because her new boyfriend didn’t like her contacting me. It hurt me more than it should have. We shared a lot of memories together and I thought we were still friends after breaking up. The really shit part about this is that she uploaded a bunch of photos with me in them from our summer job together and travels during the experience. Now that she’s blocked me, all the photos I’m tagged in have been removed from my Timeline and I have no way of viewing them anymore. It’s like she’s taken all my memories away from me and because of the block I have no way of messaging her to tell her what she’s done in terms of hiding these photos from me.

  • Megan

    I just blocked someone but it is not clear what actually happens. It says there:Once you block someone, that person can no longer see things you post on your timeline, tag you, invite you to events or groups, start a conversation with you, or add you as a friend. Note: Does not include apps, games or groups you both participate in.”
    But what about the thread that they just commented on that was the reason you blocked them? I know that someone you blocked can still be a group you are in and can be making comments about you but you just won’t see them. So maybe it is better just to unfriend?

  • amber

    My sister blocked me, she’s 12.5 and I’m 25. She did it because of a conversation we had. She has this obsessive boyfriend who is also 12, anyways I think she’s too young but whatever. Anyways, she made a post about how bored she was, so, I suggested she walked her dog since he never gets walked and is kept outside in a dog run or inside the house. She didn’t want to so I told her that if she thinks she’s responsible enough to have a boyfriend she should pick up more slack around the house instead of just cleaning her room and taking the trash to the street….. At this time it was in a private message and she laughed it off and said well good thing I’m not mom cause she doesn’t have to fo anything lol…. I just smh, and that was it. So when I found out she blocked me over this, I told our mom to tell her that if she wants to block me fine but she is no longer allowed to see my kids photos or come to functions I hold like birthday parties and such, just so that they both understand how insulting it is to block someone over that fact that they made you upset about yourself.

  • KV

    So how do these people you don’t know – that you blocked – have pictures with you?

  • Jxt Shut Up

    guys a person is threating many girls on facebook how we block the id of this person permanentaly

  • chris windy

    my ex and i had a fight and now is gone out of to get a new wife,how do i get him back again 2014 add comment

  • Invisible

    My only grown daughter whom I would die for blocked me on FB over 2 years ago.
    No reason at all is what she told me. Just that she didn’t want her ‘mother’ on her Facebook. The only way I can view pictures of her children are from those who are kind enough to share. . . but lately even that has slowed down. I’m so sad. We talk once in a while on the phone (we live in different states) I guess I’ll just keep praying she has a change of mind. Thank you for reading this.

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