The below examples show Dirt Farmers Rob and Heather on visits to Dirt Farmer Dennis’ Farm. Dirt Farmer Dennis at the time saw the default blonde avatars for his friends. Dirt Farmer’s Rob and Heather saw Dirt Farmer Dennis’ avatar as it should appear.
The example on the left shows Dirt Farmer Rob as he appears to Dirt Farmer Dennis - The blonde avatar rumored to be a hacker. The example on the right shows Dirt Farmer Rob's real avatar.
The example on the left, picture by Dirt Farmer Dennis, shows Dirt Farmer Heather with the blonde default avatar rumored to be a hacker. The example on the right shows Dirt Farmer Heather's real avatar with Dirt Farmer Dennis near the dog house. This picture was Dirt Farmer Heather's view of the SAME visit. Note that in the example on right, Dirt Farmer Dennis is blond but is not the default. He is wearing glasses.
How can this happen? Well it’s a side effect of GHOST NEIGHBORS. What happened here is that Dirt Farmer Dennis had Ghost Neighbors stuck in his neighbor number when he accepted neighbor requests from Dirt Farmer Rob and Dirt Farmer Heather. The game thought he already had 300 neighbors. The result of this is that he became our neighbor and we did not become his. When we visited him, since we were not connected as neighbors he saw us as the default blonde avatar with or without a question mark. These visits are real and are us, not hackers and were done for testing purposes to confirm this theory.
If you find default blonde avatars on your farm, with or without a question mark they are your friends. One of a few things has happened.
- As in the above example, you either had or the game thought you had 300 neighbors at the time that you accepted that person’s neighbor request or sent them one. You are their neighbor and they are not yours. The only way to resolve this is for you to get below 300 neighbors (see method below to check) and then they un-neighbor you and one of you sends a new request. If they do not un-neighbor before a new request is sent, you will not connect on your end.
- If you’re sure that picture belongs to an actual neighbor, check your neighbor bar. The game sometimes messes up and neighbors randomly vanish from your bar for a period of time. If you are disconnected in this way on your end but not theirs you will see this.
- If someone you have recently unfriended and not un-neighbored, for a few hours you will see the default blonde avatar since your Facebook connection no longer exists, until it catches up on their end and you become their ghost.
- Facebook sometimes has issues that break friend connections. If a friend’s posts are suddenly giving error messages that you have to be friends to claim or expired or claimed when you know they’re not. Odds are you will see this avatar if they visit.
How to find out if you have Ghost Neighbors(These are different from Zombies)
Open your STORAGE CELLAR and click on Comparison
This will show you how many total neighbors you have that you can see.
Then go to your local celebrity ribbon
If there is a discrepancy that means you have that many neighbors “stuck” that you can’t see to remove yourself. (I have 6 “stuck”) You will need to contact Zynga support via email, chat or twitter (see how here and here ) and ask them to “Clean up your neighbor list”. You may have to try a few times as many agents do not know how.
It is very important to un-neighbor before unfriending another player. If you unfriend before un-neighboring or the person blocks the game before un-neighboring, they will remain on your neighbor list, but in many cases invisible to you so you cannot remove them without help from player support.
To find out why it is important to know if you have Ghost Neighbors and react to that click here. To find out about Zombie Neighbors that you CAN remove yourself click here.