Dave, ya gotta help me! There’s a weird guy who has been pestering me on Facebook Messenger. I blocked him, but somehow he is still sending me messages. Help!
Ah, social media, where everyone’s just a few clicks away from being a creepy stalker or nuisance, however normal they may seem on first glance. Is that really their photo? Is that their name and back story? Are they even human, or are they a ‘bot that’s part of some complex scam to ultimately sell you anti-stalker protection software? What is for sure is that the digital highways are not what they were 20-25 years ago, when the Internet was still fresh.
As products like iMessage from Apple and more importantly Facebook Messenger keep growing to encompass more and more features – you can pay your friends! You can play a game! You can chat with a robot! – it’s getting easier for them to also become channels for harassment and stalking. Not good at all. Facebook’s busy adding features to help you out, however, but as always, things move fast so it’s easy to misunderstand features and fail to block that weirdo effectively.
To find out how it should be done, I enlisted my friend Starling to be the guinea pig. Don’t worry, though, when we were done with the testing, she got off the block list! 🙂
The first step, as always, is to go to the main Facebook menu and head to “Settings”:
Once you’re there you’ll see there are about a zillion different preferences and settings. Stay focused, though: Find and click on “Blocking”:
There are a lot of different things you can block someone from doing, including commenting on your posts or even sending you event invitations. Most likely you blocked this weird guy by simply trying to, well, block them. Problem is, that works within the world of Facebook, but FB apparently considers Messenger a different universe that has its own settings. Look for this Block messages segment instead:
Read the small print and you can see Facebook recognizes that there’s a confusing disparity here too: blocking someone’s messages doesn’t block them from interacting with you on Facebook itself. Why not just have a “block everything, everywhere” feature instead?
To add someone to your messages block list, simply start typing in their name:
I don’t have a lot of Facebook connections with the name “Starling”, so there’s only one match. A click to select and…
One more click, on “Block Messages” and you’re done. They’re now blocked from sending you Facebook Messages. Neat and easy once you know where to look.
But what do they see? Well, if they try to message you from within an existing conversation, they’ll see this:
Maybe they’re more persistent and think that starting a completely new message will sidestep the above. Nope:
One more attempt, this weirdo person thinks. Let’s try my smartphone because I bet they aren’t all in sync. Sorry, they are:
That should help you get this odd person off your back and out of your Facebook world!
Pro Tip: While we’re talking Facebook, please do check out our extensive Facebook help area!