You may want to avoid your ex’s Facebook profile for a bit. A new bug in the Facebook app automatically sends friend requests when you visit a stranger’s profile. Review Geek has successfully reproduced this bug, but only on the Facebook mobile app.
Update, 5/16/23: As reported by Android Authority, Facebook has canceled the accidental friend requests it sent out. You may receive a notification asking you to review incoming and outgoing friend requests.
Update, 5/12/23 1:59 pm Eastern: A few hours after this article was published, Facebook resolved the problem. You can now visit (or snoop on) strangers’ Facebook profiles without consequence. (Note that this article has not been edited since it’s original publication, though I have added a quote that Meta provided to Review Geek.)
This bug occurs so quickly that you’ll hardly notice it. Upon visiting a stranger’s profile, the “Add Friend” button automatically changes itself to “Pending.” There isn’t a warning, a popup, or anything else that indicates you’ve sent a friend request. The only way to avoid the bug is to avoid strangers’ Facebook profiles.
“We fixed a bug related to a recent app update that caused some Facebook friend requests to be sent mistakenly. We’ve stopped this from happening and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.” — a Meta spokesperson
Review Geek investigated this bug after receiving a tip from a friend. After reproducing the bug ourselves, we found several users complaining about it on the r/Facebook subreddit. We’re not sure how many people are affected by the bug.
We’ve reached out to Facebook for a comment on this situation. In the meantime, you should probably avoid strangers’ profiles, lest you embarrass yourself.