When You're Added to Social Media Groups Without Your Permission

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Social media groups are a great way to segment friends and acquaintances who share a certain interest.  But some group administrators don't take the time check in with you before placing you on their list.

It depends on the social networking services you use, but not all of them require permission-based groups.  This means you could be added to a group without your knowledge.  It's not always a big deal - you may find it very beneficial for your work or business to be connected to other people in your field.

However, there is something about not knowing you've been added that can be a little off-putting.  Or worse, you find yourself in a group you would never have joined otherwise!

Surprise!  You've Been Added

Everyone loves an invitation.  Whether or not you choose to accept it, you know you've been included.  It's nice to feel wanted.

But it feels invasive when you look at the groups you belong to and see one you know you never received an invitation to join.  In some cases, it can feel as if your site profile has been hacked.

Just today, I removed myself from several groups to which I had been added without my permission.  Looking at the various ones, some I just shrugged off, but others made me a little concerned.  How did these people find me?

Social networking, although a virtual medium, is actually a lot like networking in person.  It requires your presence once in a while, and it requires that you manage your contacts. 

Just as you might update the contact information of those you socialize with in person, your social networks need to be monitored and updated on a regular basis as well.

Removing Yourself from Social Media Groups

Most times, all it takes is a click to remove yourself from social media groups.  You were added without your knowledge, you don't want to participate, so - click - you're not on the list anymore.

However, there may be others that require you to contact the group administrator to be removed.  If this is the case, keep your communication brief and direct:
"Please remove my name and profile from your group list.  While I appreciate the add, I don't recall giving my permission to join this group.  Thank you."

Keeping your message brief allows you to make a direct request for removal without being confrontational and there are two reasons for this:

  • If this is a professional group, you don't want to burn any bridges.  Your business may need them in the future.
  • If it is a social group with an aggressive administrator, don't give them any reason to retaliate on this or other social networking sites.

Adjust Your Privacy Settings

Nearly all social networking sites have various privacy settings that give you options when it comes to the amount of information people can see about you, how you are added to groups, and even who can directly communicate with you.

Depending on how you network and share information, decide how much you want visible and available to the public.  Keep in mind, the more public your profiles, the more you will need to monitor your groups and contacts.

Social media is wonderful and I love having access to friends I don't see often, and even people I haven't actually met.  In many ways, social media "friendship" entails being connected with strangers. 

This is why we need to be especially kind and thoughtful in the way we reach out to others via social networking.  If you don't know someone or their communication style, communicating via typed words leaves room for misunderstanding.

It's also another reason to always invite, rather than assume you can simply add someone without permission.

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