Dave Taylor

How To Leave Facebook Groups

By: Dave Taylor
October 11th, 2010

Facebook has changed things yet again and now there are Facebook Groups that people can apparently just create and add me to without my permission. Not good. Now my email box overfloweth and my notifications are all about those groups, not my friends. I want out. What are my options?

Dave's Answer:

It's always something with Facebook, I have to say. On the plus side, it's cool that the company continually tries to innovate and improve the online experience for the millions of Facebook users, but it's also darn frustrating when things keep changing and when the impact of those changes often seem to have been an afterthought in the company.

The introduction of Facebook Groups seems to be the same sort of thing. I would have figured that it'd be introduced as a feature similar to Facebook Events, where you pick a list of people you'd like to have in the group, then invite them to join it. Some say yes, some say no, some just ignore the invitation, but at least each person has control over what they're associated with and involved with.

Nope. That's not the current implementation of Facebook Groups and it's really awful. I've been added to a half-dozen groups already, some of which are interesting, but some of which are stupid. I can't wait until spammers realize that they can create "I want to make lots of money really fast" and start adding me to those groups as a sort of tacit endorsement. Blech.

Fortunately, it's pretty easy to leave groups and to modify the notification email, etc...

If you've been added to any groups (or joined them yourself), on the left side of your Facebook home page you'll now see them show up, along with new update counts:

facebook groups unsubscribe 1

Personally, I don't mind that at all. What bugs me is the new massive wave of email from the Facebook Groups that has overrun my inbox and the fact that the Facebook Groups are also taking over my status menu:

facebook groups unsubscribe 2

If you pop into one of these groups that you're involved with, however, you'll see midway down the right side that there's an easily found "Leave Group" link:

facebook groups unsubscribe 3

Before you do, though, instead look up just a little bit and you'll see "Edit Notifications":

facebook groups unsubscribe 4

Click on "Edit Notifications" and you'll find that there are a number of tweaks you can make to your Facebook Group notifications (which makes sense!):

facebook groups unsubscribe 5

Notably missing here is "don't have group updates clutter up my status menu", but perhaps that'll show up soon. In any case, here's what I think I'll be using as my own default settings for this new feature on Facebook:

facebook groups unsubscribe 6

If you want to make more permanent changes that will encompass all groups you're in, even new ones that haven't been dreamed up yet, you can also go to Account --> Account Settings, click on the "Notifications" tab, and scroll down to find:

facebook groups unsubscribe 7

Lots to tweak and modify...

As with most things Facebook, expect this to evolve and change at a fast clip as user feedback overwhelms them and causes them to actually fix things and make them more useful for us.

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About the Author: Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since 1980 and is internationally known as an expert on both business and technology issues. Holder of an MSEd and MBA, author of twenty books and founder of four startups, he also runs a strategic marketing company and consults with firms seeking the best approach to working with weblogs and social networks. Dave is an award-winning speaker and frequent guest on radio and podcast programs. AskDaveTaylor.com http://www.intuitive.com/blog/