notification that a contact's account is closed? June 9, 2010 10:29 AM   Subscribe

If a contact's account is closed, either because they chose to disable it or they got banned, can (should?) that show up in the "Contact Activity" sidebar?
posted by Ufez Jones to MetaFilter-Related at 10:29 AM (79 comments total)

Oh, yeas, we need more visibility and potential for drama surrounding account closures. Seriously, though, if you don't care enough to click their profile and see whether it says "This account is disabled." at the top, then why would you care enough to want this?
posted by Nothing... and like it at 10:36 AM on June 9, 2010


Probably not?
posted by Artw at 10:38 AM on June 9, 2010


I, personally, would like the notification, although I can't imagine we're ever going to get it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:42 AM on June 9, 2010


Oddly enough, some of us have made real-life acquaintances and friends through the site, some of whom post very infrequently, so it wouldn't be obvious if they closed their accounts. And who on earth has the time to take a census of their contacts at regular intervals?
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:42 AM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you know someone in real life, are unlikely to notice whether they've stopped posting, and don't have time or inclination to see whether their account is disabled, what possible need do you have for this feature?
posted by Nothing... and like it at 10:46 AM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


We're not going to do this. People close their accounts for a lot of reasons. Sometimes we as mods know the reason, sometimes we don't. Having a bunch of speculating in MeTa "Hey I noticed that so-and-so closed their account, what's THAT about?" is going to be really problematic. I know this is less than satisfactory, but I can't think of a way that people can get this information without it becoming a community deal. Maybe if there was a shaded background on your user contacts list so you could see at a glance whose account was disabled?

This is one of those really odd issues. While there's no problem with having a way to let individual users know who has and has not closed their account, the "what happened to X?" threads and/or accusations and/or "I miss so-and-so" stuff is a little tricky from a mod perspective so I'm not sure how to balance those two things.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:46 AM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


For a nominal fee, not only will I inform you when and why one of your contacts has disabled his/her account, but I'll do it in person. I also provide grief counseling at an hourly rate.
posted by Eideteker at 10:53 AM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeas, we need more visibility and potential for drama surrounding account closures. Seriously, though, if you don't care enough to click their profile and see whether it says "This account is disabled." at the top, then why would you care enough to want this?
posted by Nothing... and like it at 7:36 PM on June 9 [+] [!]


eponystamburger

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:54 AM on June 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is one of those really odd issues. While there's no problem with having a way to let individual users know who has and has not closed their account, the "what happened to X?" threads and/or accusations and/or "I miss so-and-so" stuff is a little tricky from a mod perspective so I'm not sure how to balance those two things.

What about giving people who close their accounts the option of leaving an email address on their profiles, visible only to folks who are logged in? This way, if someone wonders what happened to one of their contacts, they could email them and ask rather than asking the community.
posted by zarq at 10:55 AM on June 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I recently closed my account for 5 or 6 weeks due to being overwhelmed by crap and not having the time to deal with some creative projects and life stuff. The last thing I would have wanted was people contacting me to ask why I left. I might have felt pressured to return, and it would have defeated the purpose of taking the break if I spent the break explaining to people why I was taking a break.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:56 AM on June 9, 2010


The last thing I would have wanted was people contacting me to ask why I left. I might have felt pressured to return, and it would have defeated the purpose of taking the break if I spent the break explaining to people why I was taking a break.

That's why I'm suggesting that leaving an email address behind should be optional.
posted by zarq at 10:57 AM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe if there was a shaded background on your user contacts list so you could see at a glance whose account was disabled?

That'd be a nice compromise, I think.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:05 AM on June 9, 2010


That's why I'm suggesting that leaving an email address behind should be optional.

I got that, but many of my contacts already have my email address. And I'm not that hard to find regardless. My point was I wasn't wanting to make an exit. If people were notified I'd left just because I wanted a break, it would have felt more dramatic than it was.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:09 AM on June 9, 2010


Thunder and lightning. Make everyone look around to see who's gone and let all us jerks give thanks that it wasn't us. Also, let us designate up to five contacts as "Executors" in the "Add as a contact" form, so that you can automatically send a message to each of them stating a contact address and, like a death certificate, the cause of disablement. Those five could open a metatalk thread to praise or bury the lost person and collect dots and ears. And then send in some grief counselors from the Grief Council.
posted by pracowity at 11:14 AM on June 9, 2010


That'd be a nice compromise, I think.

Talking to pb about it now and I think there is a way to do that. The big deal is though that we may have to be a little harsher about "What ever happened to X?" sorts of MeTa posts because I suspect for a lot of people they'll see that someone left and want to know what's up and the story may be an ungood one, or something where we know and can't really tell people, or where no one knows. It's a little weird and highlights to me the difference between IRL communities and online ones. It would be like someone moving and leaving no forwarding address. It happens but it's rare. Online that sort of thing happens all the time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:15 AM on June 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


The last thing I would have wanted was people contacting me to ask why I left. I might have felt pressured to return, and it would have defeated the purpose of taking the break if I spent the break explaining to people why I was taking a break

Having recently gone through something similar, I agree.

A lot of times when this has been asked, there's a request for the mods or departing user to do something. Perhaps it should be the other way around, where the users who are still here respect the choice of the person and not pry?

This way, if someone wonders what happened to one of their contacts, they could email them and ask rather than asking the community.

Then they might get multiple emails wondering why they left, which could be burdening.

There's no simple and easy fix here, especially not a technological one for this particular social issue. If the email option is in place and the departing choose not to exercise it, then there will still be questions about why X is gone and we're back at square one.

Sometimes you have just have to let people go. I know it sucks, but if you love or like someone, let them be free yadda yadda yadda.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:16 AM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can understand that, cjorgensen, but I would guess that your example is probably limited to the handful of heavy users. I could be wrong though. Maybe there are more people that close their accounts to take a break than I had considered.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:17 AM on June 9, 2010


Also, if someone wears a acid wash jeans that should show up on Contact Activity. So we can mock them.
posted by GuyZero at 11:18 AM on June 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


What about splitting the difference? Allow a user closing their account to activate a 'shakespeherian has closed his account. You can contact him at noseriouslyfuckthisguy@gmail.com' note that only shows up in the sidebar for that user's contacts?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:19 AM on June 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's no simple and easy fix here, especially not a technological one for this particular social issue. If the email option is in place and the departing choose not to exercise it, then there will still be questions about why X is gone and we're back at square one.

Iif those questions are going to be asked anyway, would it not cut down on their frequency?
posted by zarq at 11:21 AM on June 9, 2010


Iif those questions are going to be asked anyway, would it not cut down on their frequency?

I don't know. It would seem so, but who knows? It would be a new feature, so people might just default to asking anyway/not see the email button or whatever the visual indicator is.

It's definitely a weird situation with no easy answers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:29 AM on June 9, 2010


I will say I was a bit surprised at my bio going blank when I closed the account. It was like I stopped being me here. I don't have much there, but when I clicked in and saw nothing...it felt like I should have one of those deceased banners at the top.

Next time I take a break I probably will just step away.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:29 AM on June 9, 2010


Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me cjorgenson...I meant to suggest that the Close Account button also include a notice about what changes will occur to the user's profile and information, just so it's abundantly clear what will happen before the person pushes the button.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:31 AM on June 9, 2010


I also provide grief counseling at an hourly rate.

And cake.
posted by davejay at 11:34 AM on June 9, 2010


Nothing... and like it writes "we need more visibility and potential for drama surrounding account closures."

This feature (strictly the notification of closure not any of the email/reason options, I think those would be bad) might, long term, reduce the drama by normalizing the closure process in the same way that newspaper obituaries are not perceived as increasing drama.
posted by Mitheral at 11:36 AM on June 9, 2010


If, after I depart this site, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.
posted by The White Hat at 11:36 AM on June 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Crap, sorry for the badmisleading quote, I accidentally clipped Nothing... and like it's HAMBURGER words:

Nothing... and like it writes "Oh, yeas, we need more visibility and potential for drama surrounding account closures. Seriously, though"
posted by Mitheral at 11:38 AM on June 9, 2010


If somebody wants to close their account and slink off quietly I don't think we should make that harder for them by announcing to their contacts that they just left. We may care and want to know, but I think the users desire has to take preference. If the recently departed MeFite wanted to notify people that they are leaving the site, they could do so via a MeFi Mail before they shut down.
posted by COD at 11:43 AM on June 9, 2010


> If somebody wants to close their account and slink off quietly I don't think we should make that harder for them by announcing to their contacts that they just left.

I believe the suggestion was that this should be an optional feature, in which case I have a hard time seeing a downside.
posted by languagehat at 12:06 PM on June 9, 2010


I am against it.

If you only know them from MeFi and know of no other outside way to contact someone who's left the site, I would say that should logically be the end of it. They left the site and didn't contact you because they didn't want to talk to you anymore, or didn't value your relationship enough. If you were really as close as you thought you were to this person, they would have contacted you. It's a website not a

It's the closer's personal business. It's none of my business that you closed your account unless YOU choose to contact me and let me in on it.
posted by BeerFilter at 12:26 PM on June 9, 2010


Strike that part "It's a website not a." I couldn't find an analogy I liked and forgot to delete that.
posted by BeerFilter at 12:28 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there any difference between simply stopping posting and closing an account? What is the benefit to closing the account?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:05 PM on June 9, 2010


Can I suggest that we leave the account looking like it's open and let mutual contacts posts under the departed user's account?
posted by ODiV at 1:10 PM on June 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


They left the site and didn't contact you because they didn't want to talk to you anymore, or didn't value your relationship enough. If you were really as close as you thought you were to this person, they would have contacted you.

You're not taking into account closer's remorse. I closed my account in anger once, then realized a day later that I had no way to email certain friends to tell them I had left because they hadn't posted their email addresses in their profiles, and I no longer had access to MeMail.

Re-instating your account is a process. You have to go back to the mods hat in hand and ask them to re-activate your account. Cortex was gracious about reinstating mine when I asked, and Jessamyn was kind to me afterwards, but asking them was extremely embarrassing for me.

I'm not sure if other people might feel the same way, but I would think that having to ask to have one's account reactivated might be a bit of a barrier to some folks.
posted by zarq at 1:16 PM on June 9, 2010


Is there any difference between simply stopping posting and closing an account? What is the benefit to closing the account?

For some, they're saying, "I don't want to be a member here any more." It's a statement.

For others, it affords them the ability to take a deliberate, voluntary pause in their posting privileges, because they don't trust themselves not to comment or post. They may be trying to (say,) pass an exam and are afraid that MeFi is too much of a time suck. Or they may feel they're unable to be calm and polite to other MeFites and need to step back and cool down without the ability to comment impulsively.

For still others, they feel the need to close their account because they've said things they regret which will now be permanently associated with them in the minds of other members. So they want a fresh start under a new screen name.

There are other reasons.
posted by zarq at 1:22 PM on June 9, 2010


You have to go back to the mods hat in hand and ask them to re-activate your account.

Love you zarq, but I think that's a bit overstating it from a factual perspective, though I understand that's how you may feel.

Having been through the same process, I don't feel it's something that has to be done with hat in hand. You just send an email via the contact form and usually in about five minutes you get an email saying "All set, welcome back."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:22 PM on June 9, 2010


Having been through the same process, I don't feel it's something that has to be done with hat in hand. You just send an email via the contact form and usually in about five minutes you get an email saying "All set, welcome back."


Uh.... you mean I didn't have to offer them sexual favors?


That didn't happen, of course. :)
posted by zarq at 1:25 PM on June 9, 2010


Re-instating your account is a process. You have to go back to the mods hat in hand and ask them to re-activate your account. Cortex was gracious about reinstating mine when I asked, and Jessamyn was kind to me afterwards, but asking them was extremely embarrassing for me.

I totally respect your feelings from your end, but to be clear about our perspective we don't actually check anyone's hands for hats and don't feel generally speaking that it's something that requires contrition or embarrassment. There are rare cases where someone asking back in is going to be bumpy, and those cases are far more extreme in their circumstances than just an too-hasty buttoning in its own right.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:27 PM on June 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I totally respect your feelings from your end, but to be clear about our perspective we don't actually check anyone's hands for hats and don't feel generally speaking that it's something that requires contrition or embarrassment.

Ah well. That's good.

I felt like an ass at the time, and was relieved you and Jessamyn were cool about it. So, thanks. :)
posted by zarq at 1:29 PM on June 9, 2010


Bacon is the currency.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:30 PM on June 9, 2010


It's a website not a

Damnit, BeerFilter, I'm a website, not a
posted by desjardins at 1:34 PM on June 9, 2010


Can I suggest that we leave the account looking like it's open and let mutual contacts posts under the departed user's account?

Yes, if you enjoy making terrible suggestions.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:35 PM on June 9, 2010


Yes, if you enjoy making terrible suggestions.

That's what AskMe is for.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:37 PM on June 9, 2010


But seriously ... I think it's pretty clear that the "disable account" feature exists so that a Metafilter user can choose to discontinue their ability to interact with people on Metafilter, not to prompt a flurry of Mefites trying to communicate with them or start threads about them. The feature is minimal by design; the mods evidently don't want to add any bells and whistles to it, and this makes sense.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:38 PM on June 9, 2010


Yes, if you enjoy making terrible suggestions.

On a tous besoin d'une raison d'ĂȘtre.
posted by ODiV at 1:53 PM on June 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I *hate* the what happened to x threads and the whole thing rubs me up the wrong way. I realise this is totally my own problem and the most other people don't feel the same way but ug. It's so nosy. I hate gossip and talking about people behind their backs and this is what it feels like to me (since if you really knew the person you wouldn't be asking the question).

Livejournal lists in your friends list accounts which have been deleted (they're visible but crossed out) and I never much liked that either. Either delete it or leave it as is, no need to make any kind of deal about what happened to the account. But LJ is often kind of drama filled (or at least the people I used it with were back when I used it) which this fed into, and other people possibly find it useful. It's an example we could to look at anyway.
posted by shelleycat at 3:11 PM on June 9, 2010


Is there any difference between simply stopping posting and closing an account? What is the benefit to closing the account?

I did it because I got really wound up in a metatalk thread and it was the only way i was going to stop myself from continuing the argument for days.
posted by empath at 3:36 PM on June 9, 2010


Is there any difference between simply stopping posting and closing an account? What is the benefit to closing the account?

If you just stop posting, you have acess to everything and can still waste time following stuff.

If you close your account, it's must harder to follow stuff and pay attention to various threads and what not, so it's easier to put out of your mind/involve yourself less in/put on the mental back burner.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:03 PM on June 9, 2010


On the Close Your Account page, there's a box to (optionally) enter a reason. Could there be an additional option to make that reason publicly displaced on one's profile page? (Perhaps subject to mod approval for instances of "fuck you all" etc.)
posted by Houyhnhnm at 4:19 PM on June 9, 2010


I bet the mods want no part of having the power to approve or disapprove that statement.

Maybe it could be radio box, with several predefined options, like this:

Please choose a reason for leaving (optional):
( ) taking a break, back at some point
( ) personal reasons
( ) other
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:32 PM on June 9, 2010


As much as I would like to see a reason (nobody in particular on that, I just like seeing what people come up with for stories), I really like the idea of the radio box for this.
posted by theichibun at 4:34 PM on June 9, 2010


Chances are the people who would opt in to this are the people who would create the most drama about a person leaving.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:40 PM on June 9, 2010


It's an example we could look at anyway.

Yeah, we've been discussing this today and we decided to highlight disabled accounts on contact pages. So now in addition to seeing mutual contacts highlighted, any account that is disabled will have a black background. This makes it a bit easier to find disabled accounts among your contacts, but doesn't broadcast closures or bannings to the front page.

To see this in action, go to your profile page and click the links next to Links to or Linked by in the Social column.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:44 PM on June 9, 2010


Yikes. It looks like a declassified CIA document!
posted by Burhanistan at 4:50 PM on June 9, 2010


That looks great, pb. Now can you highlight Banned For Lifers with some licking flames? That would be awesome!
posted by snsranch at 5:11 PM on June 9, 2010


It's probably just my colorblind eyes, but it's pretty hard to read the blue writing against the black highlight against the white background. Don't change it on my account. Just wondering if anyone else is having a similar problem?
posted by zarq at 5:39 PM on June 9, 2010


*sobs*
posted by special-k at 5:40 PM on June 9, 2010


On the Close Your Account page, there's a box to (optionally) enter a reason. Could there be an additional option to make that reason publicly displaced on one's profile page? (Perhaps subject to mod approval for instances of "fuck you all" etc.)

Not wanting to have to inject mod approval into this stuff (both in terms of outright flaming-teardown-FUCKYOU-ery and milder issues like sussing out whether any given departing user wants this or that bit of their profile to remain visible in perpetuity) is why we have the super-simple "blank most of the profile" procedure for disabled accounts. I dig the desire for more information, etc, that comes up in these contexts sometimes but there's really no perfect compromise here and the system as it is is at least very simple and straightforward.

Someone mentioned the idea upthread of being clearer on the big red button page about what will and will not be visible when an account is closed, and I think that's worth looking at.

Beyond that, if someone wants to leave a for-public-consumption message about their closure, they can leave us a note and be explicit about that angle so that we don't have to worry about vaguing it up should the topic arise, and beyond that it's pretty much up to folks (the departing user and those noting their departure) to deal with that stuff in an extra-mefi manner.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:51 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The last thing I would have wanted was people contacting me to ask why I left. I might have felt pressured to return, and it would have defeated the purpose of taking the break if I spent the break explaining to people why I was taking a break.

If you're trying to not be bothered by Metafilter temporarily, it seems it'd be best to just stop logging in. You can do that without closing the account and announcing to everyone who views your profile that you've closed it.
posted by floam at 5:54 PM on June 9, 2010


> If you're trying to not be bothered by Metafilter temporarily, it seems it'd be best to just stop logging in.

There's some delicious cake on the table, but I'll just not eat any.

But I can just go and have a slice, or at least run my finger in the icing.

I can't control myself so please lock up my cake. Phew.

Some of us have no will power. It's sad, but true. Accept us and love us.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:57 PM on June 9, 2010


Meh. It's like Facebook announcing your change in relationship status. Let people slink off if they want to. If they were desperately worried about keeping in touch/satisfying your curiosity, they'd let their reasons be known or send you a note about it. This strikes me as a bit ambulance-chasey.
posted by cj_ at 6:04 PM on June 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


You can do that without closing the account and announcing to everyone who views your profile that you've closed it.

That's a rather interesting way of looking at it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 PM on June 9, 2010


Some of us have no will power.

Here is a story for you, then.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:51 PM on June 9, 2010


Money making opportunity! A web service that has you temporarily change your password to something it gives you at a site you want to take a break from, and then it logs in and changes the password to something else. To regain access either you must wait for some pre-set timer to run out or you can beg the administrator for a one-time reprieve. Maybe require a letter explaining that you're sorry and summarizing what you learned in 1200 words.
posted by floam at 7:00 PM on June 9, 2010


Really cool, pb, thanks.
I hadn't realized I had lost a few contacts.
posted by bru at 7:25 PM on June 9, 2010


> Here is a story for you, then.

Lobel FTW!
posted by Burhanistan at 7:27 PM on June 9, 2010


So now in addition to seeing mutual contacts highlighted, any account that is disabled will have a black background. This makes it a bit easier to find disabled accounts among your contacts, but doesn't broadcast closures or bannings to the front page.

Awesome pb (and jess). Thanks a lot!
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:31 PM on June 9, 2010


It's probably just my colorblind eyes, but it's pretty hard to read the blue writing against the black highlight against the white background.

Yes. Great idea, and thanks to pb for implementing, but the distinction between the black-shaded disabled contacts and gray-shaded mutual contacts is almost impossible for me to see.

But I sometimes have difficulties with color perception and so that's probably not universal.
posted by lalex at 9:04 PM on June 9, 2010


It's like Facebook announcing your change in relationship status.

Oh god I HATE that! But then it actually irks me when facebook tells you who is making friends with whom, so I guess I really am an outlier with this stuff.

Marking it in your contacts in some way does make sense though. If someone went to the effort of making someone else a contact then it's extra information they may want to have, and this is a pretty low key way of providing it. And it's easy to ignore for those of us who don't care.
posted by shelleycat at 10:34 PM on June 9, 2010


But Facebook isn't announcing your change relationship status. You're announcing it via Facebook.
posted by ODiV at 1:45 AM on June 10, 2010


Not me, when other people do it. I assume they either don't know how to turn it off or don't care, either way I find it intrusive to be told that kind of stuff in the first place. Plus if I friend someone it doesn't appear in my feed but it does appear in theirs (I don't know about relationships, my boyfriend doesn't do facebook), so there's some lack of control there. Mostly I just roll my eyes and skim past that stuff but, again, I'm probably kind of weird in this regard.
posted by shelleycat at 2:01 AM on June 10, 2010


Awesome pb (and jess). Thanks a lot!

And thank you Ufez Jones for putting this into motion. It reminded me to resurrect my sock puppet. Golden Lucky Day!
posted by Meatbomb at 3:31 AM on June 10, 2010


But Facebook isn't announcing your change relationship status. You're announcing it via Facebook.

Of course, both are true: you're changing it, and Facebook is announcing it. And many people would like to change it without it being announced, and aren't thinking about the fact that it will be announced. And the same applies to disabled accounts on Metafilter.
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:43 AM on June 10, 2010


Maybe it could be radio box, with several predefined options, like this:

Please choose a reason for leaving (optional):
( ) taking a break, back at some point
( ) personal reasons
( ) other

( ) knockin boots witcho mama
posted by Eideteker at 4:57 AM on June 10, 2010


To see this in action, go to your profile page ...

::click::

... and click the links next to Links to ...

::click::

... or Linked by in the Social column.

::click::

:) ...... :| ...... :(
posted by FishBike at 5:24 AM on June 10, 2010


This reminds me of when I was attended a strict private highschool and when we got our yearbooks I would go through and but a big black X though the pictures of people who had been kicked out of school during the year.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:38 AM on June 10, 2010


I was going to ask for a screenshot of this because I didn't think I had any contacts who had Big Red Buttoned, but then I realized I did and it made me a bit sad.

To remedy this, I logged onto my laptop, which has the unicorn/narwhal greasemonkey script installed. PROBLEM SOLVED!
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:37 AM on June 10, 2010


But Facebook isn't announcing your change relationship status. You're announcing it via Facebook.

That is almost certainly true when you are going from single -> spoken for. There's no pressing need to change that unless you want to tell people about it. But when you go through a breakup, you (probably) want to remove the link for reasons other than broadcasting to your entire social group. Or maybe that's just me, I don't know.

Not me, when other people do it. I assume they either don't know how to turn it off or don't care, either way I find it intrusive to be told that kind of stuff in the first place.

I recently moved back into the status of single and I spent a significant amount of time going through every setting to make sure it wouldn't broadcast it to my friends. I was sure I had it, then I checked my profile after the change and it still broadcast it. Thankfully you can delete these messages.. but I don't blame anyone for unintentionally leaking this information. Facebook goes out of its way to make privacy extremely complicated.
posted by cj_ at 9:19 PM on June 10, 2010


cj_ is correct. I recently did this too. I had to go from "in a relationship with ____" to "single," and I specifically tried to set things in advance so this wouldn't be public. Didn't work: Facebook announced the change in relationship status in my feed. Now, you can tell me, "You did this" ... but only in the sense that it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't done something else. That's not much consolation. As it turns out, it doesn't seem to have led to any particularly bad consequences, but the whole idea of computer software taking control of my life creeps me out. And boy, was I glad that I had the presence of mind to unfriend my ex-girlfriend's family members before changing the relationship status!
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:43 AM on June 11, 2010


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