Back in the day, I created a group called Dachshund Lovers on Facebook. It was open just to people at my university, and it gathered a few members but wasn’t anything big. Then later, when I was able to open it up beyond my university, I made it a public group so anyone could join. Things were fine, people joined and I didn’t have to do anything about it. Just anyone who wanted in could join and there was no approval process.

Then in 2010, Facebook revamped their groups and I had the option to make Dachshund Lovers one of the “new” groups. Really, it wasn’t much of an option at all, because if I didn’t make the conversion, the group would eventually be archived and nothing new could be posted to it. I didn’t want that to happen because there were a few hundred members at this point and it was a fairly active group. Little did I know that the “new” group format would become a daily annoyance on Facebook because there’s no auto-approval. I get notifications all the time, several times a day, about how different people want to join the group. Do I care? No! Whoever wants to can join Dachshund Lovers, and I don’t want to have to say ‘ok’ to each and every ‘request’. I don’t even want there to be requests, I just want for someone to see the group and say “hey, I love wiener dogs, I’mma join”, and it be done. But no, despite setting every option I see in the group settings page to be as open as possible, I still get requests to join.

Facebook group administration options

At the moment, the group has 10,807 members with 338 requests to join. I used to periodically go through and approve all requests, because like I said, I don’t want to exclude anyone. How would the vetting process even go for that anyway? Look through the person’s photos, “oh, here he is holding a cat, this guy’s obviously a cat person, better not let him in”? Ridiculous.

Dachshund Lovers' current member count

I don’t want to just leave the group because I do still love dachshunds, and it seems stupid to have to give up on a group just because Facebook gives me shitty tools. All I want is some way for the group to let anyone in without requiring acknowledgement from me, and maybe if I kick someone out they’re not allowed to rejoin without my approval. I’ve looked for how to do this, if I’m just missing something in the options. I’ve also looked for Chrome extensions to go through and click all the approve buttons for me on a page. I haven’t found anything, and I haven’t gone to the trouble of writing such an extension myself, mostly because every time I think about it I get pissed off at Facebook. So pretty much when I see I have notifications on Facebook, I take that with a grain of salt (you have to do that anyway with their shit iOS application), and I just ignore “John Doe asked to join Dachshund Lovers” notifications. The incredibly irksome part is that my friends can add me to a group without me knowing about it, but as an administrator I still have to approve people who are actively trying to join my groups.

Does anyone else manage a group and have this problem? Did my group just get borked in the conversion process to being a “new”-style group?