In a recent study looking at the science of Facebook friend removal, researchers have stumbled upon four main online behaviors that cause pals to initiate a social separation.

The lead researchers Christopher Sibona and Steven Walczak, both of the University of Colorado Denver's Business School, found Facebook users unfriend pals after individuals publish too many posts about unimportant topics, talk about polarizing issues (politics and religion, for example), mention inappropriate items (sexual, swearing, sexist, racist, unflattering content) or simply reveal too much information about their everyday lives (exercise, purchases, eating, money and family). In comparison, the survey respondent's top reasons for ending a friendship offline include personality clashes, a person's unsettling behavior, misdeeds and trust betrayal.

The study found people who initiated more friend requests were unfriended on Facebook more often. Whereas, individuals who received more friend requests initiated more unfriending. In the study, Facebook users revealed they used unfriending on a social network to signify the offline relationship is also over. Nearly 40% survey respondents who have initiated a Facebook breakup revealed they have avoided seeing the individuals in person afterwards.

[via Mashable, "Unfriending on Facebook: Friend Request and Online/Offline Behavior Analysis"]