In my hometown of Germantown, being blocked on Facebook has become a topic of interest. A certain alderman has blocked large numbers of users he considers connected to unnamed “bad people.” He claims the move was to protect his family although he continues to use the platform to share his political ideas, not on his personal page, but on forums designed to foster discussion like community bulletin boards and discussion groups.
This move removes any possibility of a challenge to his comments making it appear that everyone on the board agrees with him. Since I am one of the blocked citizens and somewhat of a social media expert, I thought I would share a quick tutorial for you to understand how the blocking feature works and how to tell if you are blocked by someone.
Facebook lists blocking under Privacy Basics. Facebook assumes you are blocking someone because you are being bothered by that person. When a person is blocked, all communication between the two users on Facebook, present and future are eliminated. By blocking a user, a person can block a user from viewing their profile, sending friend requests, messages, comments or even reading other posts written on photos, links, pages, or groups. It’s as if you never existed. The block is the most powerful weapon at the disposal of a user to exclude one or more people on Facebook.
The first step to see if someone has blocked you is to look for their name on Facebook. If you cannot find the profile, you may or may not be blocked. Try also to find the name by visiting the friends list of mutual friends on Facebook. If you still do not find them there could be 3 reasons:
1) You have been blocked.
2) The profile has been deleted.
3) The profile has been disabled (by the user directly or by Facebook following a violation of Facebook Terms).
If the name of the profile is black and in bold and you cannot click to visit the profile, you are almost certainly blocked by that profile on Facebook.
A user with the account disabled would have the text bold “Facebook User” and not the real name. This gives us a first confirmation that the user has blocked us on Facebook.
The simplest and most obvious way to determine if you are blocked is to ask a mutual friend if he can see the profile of the person you think has blocked you. If the profile is visible to the friend in common then you are blocked.
If after trying the mentioned methods above and found out that you are indeed blocked, try not worry or feel irritated about it. If, like in Germantown, it is a political figure who has blocked you, be sure to contact the person via email and ask for an explanation as to why you were blocked. It could have been a simple misunderstanding. Or you really are a political operative associated with “bad people.” If so, join the club!