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Facebook foibles: Can unfriending be amicable?

Facebook friendships can be a tangled web – or a prize fight.

I received a friend request the other day on Facebook. Hey, it happens. But this time, it was a little weird.

Frankly, I didn’t recognize the person, but we had lots of mutual friends. Plus, she apparently belongs to several of the same special-interest/recreational groups to which I do. So I accepted her friend request.

That’s where the trouble started.

Before the day was out, I spotted a post she had put up in a Facebook group to which we both belonged. It linked to her personal Facebook page and her Facebook business page as well. 

The post quoted one of my online articles – verbatim and in full – without permission for publication.

It was copyright infringement, plain and simple.

My publisher does not take kindly to such things. So I messaged this new “friend” and informed her as kindly as possible that the information was copyrighted.

Hey, maybe she didn’t know about copyrights, plagiarism, and publication laws. Lots of people don’t. Or, at least, they claim they don’t.

I suggested she remove the post (and all shares of it) before the publisher spotted it and possibly took action.

Apparently, she did remove the offending posts. But she also removed me promptly from her Facebook friends list.

This person, who approached me first and whom I still don’t even know, was friends with me for about six hours. That was it.

No harm, no foul. Right? Maybe … or maybe not.

Facebook does not issue notifications when someone dumps a friend. But it’s easy to tell, if one looks at that person’s page and sees the “Add Friend” button. That’s pretty much a dead giveaway.

So much for alerting someone ahead of time to possible legal action. And so much for a new friendship.

Well, you can pick your friends, but …

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