Facebook “Friend”


One thing came to my attention when I received an email from a girl a couple of days ago. She wrote to ask me about someone who is a “friend” on my Facebook account. According to her, X is some agency director who offered to help her get a job in PR, an industry she is very keen in. I composed a response to her and felt there’s a need to make this public because this could potentially be a dangerous scenario and it worries me that there might be some girls in the same situation but did not write to me.

Here’s the truth: I do not know all the “friends” I have on Facebook. The choice to add everyone was made in the past, and since my account became quite full, I have decided not to approve any more friend requests unless I know them personally. That is not to say that everyone on Facebook in my “friends” list could be frauds, or predators, but it’s important to know that there’s a need to be cautious. I cannot vouch for them and what they do, so don’t assume that just because they’re a “friend” of mine on Facebook that it’s okay to let down your guard and trust them.

Having said that, I don’t really have a method to help you sniff out the bad. It all boils down to communication and instinct. Sometimes you can write to “friends of friends” to see if the person is legitimate, or you can check out their profile, visit their websites to see if the company does exist and whether or not it’s what it says it is.

Facebook can help us network very quickly, but it can also be a dangerous place because there’s too much that we don’t know.

If anyone has any advice to share, please do.

In the meantime, do be careful because I want everyone to be safe.

35 responses to “Facebook “Friend”

  1. no talk ,no talk.once talk,talk abt important events,thanks 4 sharing the info,god bless u 4 yur kindness

  2. can check with mda or sfc too if you really want to be sure. i’m certain they have a database of directors or film companies in singapore. legal ones that is.

  3. U are very right. No one can be sure of who is in your FB especially if the security is compromised and friends of friends can add u. I always make it a point to check with the friend if they know that person and until i am very sure who he/she is and what kind of things they post on FB, i will approve or reject. It’s easier for us but for you, it’s a very sensitive issue. If you dun add them, they start spreading tales that u ‘boh hue’ them just because u are popular blah blah blah. But when u do add them, they thank you for making snide remarks or perpetually asking if you are the real Joanne Peh. Guess we can never win in such situation.

    The internet is a great tool to keep in touch with others…but it can be a two edge sword. One can never be too careful.

  4. Anyone who makes contact via the internet is more of risk than someone whom you meet. You know nothing of them and their motives. There is a world of gangsters and conmen willing to relieve you of your money in one way or another. Just look at the spam in your email, everything from stories of deceased would be relatives in West Africa, ways of increasing parts of the body and reports of lottery winnings that clearly do not exist. They all share one thing in common, requests for money.

  5. Hi Joanne, I chanced upon your blog and have been smitten by your write ups since then. I found it so easy to read, informative and helpful just like this caution to your readers. You seem very sincere and friendly and I am really glad I found your blog 🙂 I am an avid follower now.

  6. Shirley Moran

    Dear Joanne,

    It is very kind and thoughtful of you to alert your fans about watching out for predators. I believe everyone in Facebook account should take some responsibilities for themselves whenever they wish to add on ‘new’ friends to their lists.

  7. good one Joanne, thanks for alerting us..

  8. Thank you Joanne for sharing your thoughts and concerns in cyber networking.

    ONLY add friends that is really friends you have acquainted in the real world and definitely not friends of friends whom you are not able to put a face behind. No offence but we cannot please all and we learnt to always be safe then sorry…..

    Wishing you many many great days ahead.

    Willy Goh

  9. An warm applause to that “Friend” issue. Whatever network or communication websites, they “The People”, whoever claims that “Friends” they know or don’t. Then why do they still sign up for an account..?? It is a laughing stock and insensible. I am also a user of Facebook, more than 55 friends.. Of course not all I know them. I can also choose to delete all of them and add new ones, it is my decision. As long as I don’t violate the use of it or making use of the domain or do something illegal. Otherwise I am just playing the games there. I always say, “No one is true”

  10. Hey Joanne

    I would suggest you take some time off to filter off people you dont know and delete them as friends. That should solve the issue right?

  11. Hey Jo

    As an educator in countless Singapore schools, finally a celebrity of substance with some very pertinent advice.

    Time and time again (and then some), I have encountered students getting themselves into all sorts of situations through simply trusting too much, inadevertantly releasing all forms of personal details etc. This is in addition to the plethora of problems that adults also face with facebook (no pun intended).

    So Ms Peh, although you may not have a specific method to assist youth today in coping with the dangers of FB, your post is as always, a step in the right direction!

    By the way, can you add me please? Oops I’m not a friend! *ouch* Hahahaha.


  12. Beware the wolf !!!!!!!!!!!

  13. How if that offer is really genuine and valid?

  14. It’s been too long since we last saw you, Joanne!

  15. Hi Joanne,

    I love your show esp Little Nonya. BTW thanks for sharing this. Your kindness is very much appreciated.

  16. facebook are for people with no real friends

  17. I do strongly agree that facebook is sometimes what I called a dangerous zone. Though it builds rapport from friends and families,we need to know that people can jeopardise it as well. So we need to be careful when we are in the cyberworld and thus the most prudent way is to change passwords everytime,so as to prevent and protect one’s identity and profiles as not to be exposed.

  18. hey joanne, i have seen the pictures you took recently and thought they were really nice. i am thinking of a getting a good camera and may i ask what camera model are u using?

    • Hi Danielle,

      To be honest, the cameras these days are very competitive and quite similar. It all boils down to what serves your needs better, so you got to find out what your needs are first.

  19. true, facebook is a dangerous place. Thanks for sharing to stop innocent people from falling into their prey. 🙂

  20. Hi,
    Saw you thoughtful alert.
    As facebook has become a way for advertiser to get their clients, therefore, the advertiser are everywhere.
    Few things to check out for :
    1. if some person claims to be the director of a business, one can do a check of the business from ACRA to see if such business existed.
    Click on “Registered Business Entities” under Quick Links on the left column.

    2. Get the business website and do a search on the business website. Most of the time the business like the above has their own website. Take a look if it a paid URL or a free URL. This alone will tell a lot of the company.

    3. Physically call the business company to ask if such person really is a representative of that company and ask for his/her phone number, email or facebook account. Double check with what you have.

    4. If all the above are in place, than, the next thing is to trust your instinct from communication with them.

    5. If there is a need to meet up, don’t go alone. Get few friends to follow along. And should be in clouded location. Still… trust your instinct.

    The above check list are on the assumptions that it happens in Singapore.

  21. Kwek Siow Huat

    Hi Joanne,

    Thanks for the good advice to the young girls out there.

    I agree with you that it is important to be on our guard when we are online and in social network sites. It is really difficult, if not impossible, to verify who is real and who is not. As always, it is better to use the Singapore attitude.. be kiasu or even kaisee. Be skeptical about someone and it won’t hurt.

    I have one additional suggestion. If a girl is in contact with someone online, always let your close friends and perhaps family members knows about it. If there is going to be arrangement to meet that person, always bring couple of friends along to keep a watch… get someone mature is always good.

  22. I got same problem as someone was tag my profile and all my picture and then add all my friend, some of my friend was accepted it because there think it another profile of mine.

  23. I agree with this comment. DO NOT trust totally. Have to be on your guard. It is seriously too risky and frankly, I personally think it is not wise to just share with people you “dun know”.

    Good luck friends and thank Joanne for her advice (think it works more efficiently)

  24. Did you know that you can delete away the “friends” in your facebook account? All you need is to login to facebook using a pc and you can do the deletion.

    This helps me when i need to organise my fb acct. Hope this will help you too. 🙂

  25. Great post. Keep on being a good role model to young girls. You go girl 😉

  26. I could never understand why there are ppl who actually try to add someone else whom are strangers. The net seemed to open up the world so much that the way we behave changed so drastically – strangers can now be declared “friends” and everyone justs “adds” everyone else.

    Like you, I had creased to add people with whom I do not know of. Even if they are friends of friends. And I do delete away friends I do not know of, which I had previously added, now and then when I decided I need to review and clear up my friends list.


  27. YOG merchandise can also be bought at AMK Hub! (:

  28. If we are to be cautious on Facebook (which is supposed to be a forum to network and socialise), then what’s the point of having Facebook in the first place.

    I’ve noticed that there are members on Facebook who turned on their privacy settings. Then whats the point of putting up their profile if only to bury their heads in the sand. Might as well just sleep at home.

    If they are so afraid of being duped, then don’t put up any profile. Its just as good as telling others I don’t want you to know me!!!!

    Silly isn’t it?

    • Hi Louis,

      I’m sure they have their reasons for having a Facebook private account. Actually, it’s a good way to load your photos online and never run out of storage space. Also, anytime you want to refer to it, say you’re at another computer terminal, you can always access it.

      I don’t know for sure, anyone who has a private FB profile who has insights, please share.


  29. girl, you can “unfriend” those you don’t know personally.

  30. Joanne, mine is a “private FB profile”.
    actually, it’s not exactly private. just that I set it to most stuff only can be seen/ read by “friends”, that’s the most “private” you can set on facebook.

    and yes, Louis, I don’t want you to know me if I don’t know you in the 1st place.
    for people like us (the privies), Facebook IS a forum to network and socialise WITH the people we already know but are not so often in touch with.
    The point of having Facebook is to connect / reconnect with people we know.

    oh yes! we are afraid of being duped. we are even more afraid that our family/ (real) friends got duped cos strangers get detailed info from our facebook a/c.

  31. Thank you Joanne for sharing your thoughts on Facebook and social networking. I too used to accept requests from friends of friends on Facebook but now I’ve drawn a line. I will only seek out friends who I know in the real world and add them or accept someone who I actually know; people who I have actually met in my lifetime. I do not believe in adding someone just to beef up my friend list to 1000-odd. I have pictures of my two young children (6 and 2) on Facebook which I want to share with friends who I don’t see often (because they are overseas), but I wouldn’t want their pictures falling into the wrong hands.
    Enjoying your blog whenever i get to read it by the way. All the best! 🙂

  32. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board
    and I find It really useful & it helped me out much.
    I hope to present one thing again and aid others like you helped me.

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