No Way To Stop Auto-Adding To Facebook Groups

I’d like to add my voice to the company of those who are thoroughly annoyed with Facebook’s “Add to group” feature.

If someone adds you to a group, you immediately become a member of that group.  This is not an invitation, it’s not a request, there’s no “click to join”. It’s done without letting you have a say in the matter at all.

  • I’m an atheist, but I’ve repeatedly found myself added to Christian groups
  • I’ve been added to political groups whose views and causes I do not support
  • I’ve been added to groups whose sole purpose is to gather members and followers
  • And so on.

And you can’t turn that feature off!

The only thing you can do is cancel your membership, i.e. leave the group, after the fact.

And once you are a member of a group, your membership may be taken to mean that you represent it, that you support that group’s views and agenda. This doesn’t play well if you were invited against your will and without your knowledge, to a group which isn’t something you’d normally associate yourself with. So if you fail to leave the group before someone else notices you’re in it, things may get awkward and you may well have some explaining to do.

If you miss the notification about being added to the group, chances are you’ll stay a member for some time before it catches your attention. And if you miss it for more than just a few days it’ll be gone from the notification list altogether, and there is to my knowledge no way to find out who added you to the group (which annoys me because I would certainly want to have words with that person, or remove them from my friend list). It does not show up in your email notifcations. I have checked.

The issue is addressed on Facebook’s Help Centre, but I use the word “addressed” in its loosest possible sense because, as you can see, their answer simply avoids the question entirely:

Can I prevent people from adding me to a new group?

Similar to being tagged in a photo, you can only be added to a group by one of your friends. When a friend adds you to a group, a story in the group—and in News Feed for Open or Closed groups—will indicate that your friend has added you to a group.

Please keep in mind:

  • For most groups, only your friends can add you to groups. Groups for schools allow people to add people from their school community even if they aren’t friends on Facebook.
  • When a friend adds you to a group, you’ll get a notification right away.
  • You can leave a group anytime. To do so, just go to the group page and click Leave Group in the right column. Once you leave a group, you can’t be added by anyone else unless you explicitly request to be re-added.

You’re reading the Desktop Help answer. Learn more in our other Help Centers.
Was this answer helpful? Yes · No

I wonder who clicks “Yes” to that last question. What Facebook effectively says is that the solution to having someone repeatedly stabbing you with a pencil is to wear a band-aid if it bleeds. The problem, in their opinion, isn’t the stabbing, it’s the bleeding.

In my opinion, auto-adding people to groups is a stupid feature. I don’t mind getting invited to groups by friends who genuinely think that I might be interested (then there’s always the chance to say “No thanks!” or simply ignore the invitation), but being forced into membership is not how I like to play this.

Facebook, please do the intelligent thing and let us have simple invites instead.

PS: The next person who invites me to a religious or Creationist group without asking first will suddenly find their wall full of Richard Dawkins’ Facebook posts!


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8 thoughts on “No Way To Stop Auto-Adding To Facebook Groups

  1. What about having no way to block someone from inviting you to pages? Obviously it’s not as wrong, but still annoying that it can’t be controoled.

    1. Much as I find invitations far less annoying than getting virtually kidnapped to groups without my consent, I would not mind a setting that said “Block people from sending me invites of any kind”.

  2. Best Blog I’ve found on the subject. Still do not understand why FB just won’t listen to it’s customers.

  3. I am pleased to see im not the only one generally annoyed by this lousy lack of a very important feature. I am (for lack of a better word) pissed that it has not been fixed. I have an adult niece who is mentally challenged and continues to add me to these “how to” fb video group posting sites. Clearly i love her, but i am tired of watching her put on make up and having these other group members friend requesting etc. Ive tried to explain to her, but clearly, my point is missed. I can unfriend her & start a family war of hurt feelings, or fb can get off its multi million dollar ass & fix this shit before i go back to my space. Ugh.!! All that money and thousands of know-it-all tech geeks and yet here we sit. WTF FB!!!

  4. It’s now 2015 and as of yesterday (5/5/2016) my account has started adding random friends to random groups. I’ve tried virus scans, adjusting my settings and it seemed to stop. As of this morning (5/6/2016) I awoke to find that as I slept my account started sending requests again.
    As is usual for FB there is no real help or any decent customer service, in fact there is no customer service.

    1. This is a wholly different kind of problem, and far more serious. Most likely someone has gained unrightful access to your Facebook account, probably by in some way getting their hands on your password. The first thing you should do before anything else is change your Facebook password! This will lock out any perpetrator as your old password will no longer work for them. Also, if you have used the same password for other services, make new, unique passwords on those, too, or you may find that whoever is accessing your Facebook account soon starts messing with your other accounts as well.

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