Fact Check

Did Facebook Glitch Cause Friend Requests To Be Sent Automatically?

Facebook users reported that friend requests were sent automatically when they clicked on other users' profiles.

Published May 16, 2023

Updated May 17, 2023
 (Kelly Page, Facebook )
Image Via Kelly Page, Facebook
In May 2023, Facebook sent friend requests to users if you looked at their profile page.

Meta, Facebook's parent company, apologized and said the glitch was corrected.

On May 12, 2023, claims began to spread across social media platforms that Facebook would send someone a friend request if you looked at their profile page.

A TikTok post from May 12, 2023 said:

"Facebook's glitching this morning and it's sending friend requests out to anyone who's not your friend and you click on their profile. So essentially if you're creeping someone, it's sending them a friend request as soon as you click on their profile. So maybe stay off Facebook today."

We also found Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter posts about the claim that were posted on May 12, 2023. 

It is true that Facebook was sending people friend requests from users if they looked at their page. A Facebook spokesperson told Snopes the technological error was temporary and corrected as of May 16, 2023.

"We're notifying people about a recent update to the Facebook app that briefly caused Facebook friend requests to be sent mistakenly," the spokesperson said. "We've stopped this from happening, and have canceled any requests that were sent because of this error. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."

The Daily Beast reported that Facebook had glitched and sent the friend requests after a bug was fixed on a recent app update. The publication found that some users found the glitch to be "the funniest thing Facebook has ever done," while other users had deactivated their accounts as a result.

In the recent past, Facebook has glitched multiple times. In August 2022, users on the platform reported that celebrity spam had flooded their feeds. The glitch was quickly resolved a few hours after it was first reported. A few months later, in April 2023, a major Facebook advertising glitch caused businesses to overspend on their Facebook and Instagram promotions, prompting the platform to begin refunding advertisers' money.

We've previously fact-checked other claims surrounding Facebook, including whether Meta will begin charging users to have verified accounts on Facebook and Instagram.


Counts, Aisha & Barinka, Alex. "Meta's Advertising Glitch Refunds Are Slow to Reach Small Clients." Bloomberg, 16 May 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-05-16/meta-starts-refunding-advertisers-after-glitch-but-small-businesses-get-chatbots.

Franklin, Jonathan. "Facebook Users Reporting Celebrity Spam Is Flooding Their Feeds." NPR, 24 Aug. 2022. NPR, https://www.npr.org/2022/08/24/1119206689/facebook-celebrity-spam-glitch.

LaMagdeleine, Izz Scott. "Will Meta Begin Charging for Verified Accounts?" Snopes, 28 Feb. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/meta-charge-for-verified-accounts/.

Muldowney, Decca. "Meta Issues Mea Culpa Over Facebook Friend Request Glitch." The Daily Beast, 12 May 2023. www.thedailybeast.com, https://www.thedailybeast.com/facebook-glitch-on-mobile-app-is-friending-anyone-you-view-on-phone.


17 May 2023: Updated with comment from Meta spokesperson.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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