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Changes To Facebook Group Invite Process Causing Confusion

by Brett M. Christensen

Image: © depositphotos.com/IgorTishenko

According to various messages spreading rapidly across Facebook, the social network is deleting ALL inactive users from Facebook groups. The messages are causing confusion and consternation as they travel. 

The claims in the messages are inaccurate and misleading. Facebook is NOT arbitrarily removing all inactive group members.

The confusion is the result of a recent Facebook update that changed how group member lists are handled.  Facebook began displaying the following message to Group admins in January 2019:

Changes To Your Members List

We want to make sure that people are joining groups that are relevant and meaningful to them. Today, we’re moving people who have been added to a group, but never visited it, into the Invited section of the group’s Members list. In the Members list, you can see your group’s updated member count and send a reminder to invited members.

Facebook group Changes Notification

Before this change, Facebook group members could invite friends to join the group and these friends would be automatically added to the group without them needing to accept an invitation. Thus, even if these automatically added members never visited the group, they would still show in the group member list.

Now, as the above Facebook notice explains, people who have been added to a group but have never visited it will be moved to a new “Invited” section in the group members list.
So, group admins may see a sudden and startling drop in membership numbers when viewing their normal members list.

Unfortunately, it appears that a fundamental misunderstanding about the newly implemented system has caused some group admins to conclude that ALL inactive members are being deleted. This is not the case. Members who have previously visited and participated in a group but later became inactive will NOT be automatically deleted by Facebook as suggested in the circulating warnings.

Only people who have been automatically added to a group but have NEVER visited the group will be moved to the new “Invited” list. Thus, the change only affects people who have never participated in the group in any way and are presumably not interested in doing so.

Thus, it is important for group admins to keep in mind that they are not losing worthwhile members who may have simply gone quiet for a while. They are only “losing” members who were added by somebody else but, given that they have not visited the group even once, have zero interest in it and are unlikely to become active members.

Furthermore, even these members are not being deleted completely from the group. Admins can still send out a final reminder notification to people who have previously been invited.

As well as displaying the above notice, Facebook is also sending out the following longer notification to group admins:

We’re making some updates to how members are invited to your group, and we wanted to share these changes with you. To help ensure people join Facebook Groups that are relevant and meaningful to them, you’ll see the following changes:


Updated Group Invitation — Now, when people are invited to a group, they can accept or decline the invite. Before, people could be added to groups by friends who thought they might be interested in them, and they’d immediately become a member. Some people may have been added to your group, but have never visited it.


Invited Section — In the next few weeks, people who’ve been added to your group — but have never visited it — will appear in the Invited section of your Members list, which only admins and moderators can view. They won’t be considered a member until they accept their invite. This means they will no longer be included in your group’s total member count, so you may see a decrease in your group’s total member count.


Reminder Notification — Because you’re an admin, in the next few weeks you’ll be able to send one notification to invited people to remind them to accept or decline the invite to your group.

One of the circulating messages:

Anyone who joins a group or adds members to a group and are inactive within the group are being deleted by Facebook.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,