Just recently I was asked by one of my best friends, why Facebook would suggest friends of which she had no mutual friends. We discussed it for a moment looking for similarities in her profile in comparison to the suggested friend and although they lived in the same city there was no congruence’s that would be cause for the friend suggestion. The person in question did not even have their city listed in their profile. So I did some research and found a few blogs and learned that Facebook saves your imported contact lists and based on the email addresses you have uploaded it suggest friends… even those friends you chose not to add or “skip”… Not only it use your email contacts, it also uses the synced Facebook list on your smartphone to determine friends to suggest as well. Not Cool Right?
Not only does Facebook save your contact list to suggest friends to you… it uses other peoples contact lists and figures out possible relationships based on mutual contacts from their email lists as well… Now it made so much sense. My friend did not use Friend Finder but I did and the email address of the person in question was in my list. Now that is just creepy.
So what does Facebook say about Friend Suggestion?
People You May Know helps you find people you are likely to know. We show you people based on mutual friends, work and education information, networks you’re part of, contacts you’ve imported using friend finder and many other factors.
Since our formula is automatic, you might occasionally see people you don’t know or don’t want to be friends with. …..Via the Facebook Help Center
I have 1600 plus Facebook friends and could care less about friend suggestions. If you request to be my friend, I’ll add you; as internet marketer exposing people to my personal brand can only help me and my business. But what about those people who value their privacy and would rather not see friend suggestions of ex boyfriends or their boyfriends ex girlfriends. Facebook does allow users to delete the contacts uploaded with the Friend Finder but this only deletes your contacts… it does nothing for the other possible people you know on Facebook who have your email address in their contact list.
You can also keep people from seeing you as a suggested friend on other peoples profile by following the directions below.
- Choose the “Privacy Settings” option in the Account drop-down menu at the top of any Facebook page.
- Select “View settings” in the “Connecting on Facebook” section.
- Change the settings for “Search for you on Facebook” and “Send you friend requests” to “Friends of Friends”.
It is important to note that I did not find any official Facebook blog stating they are actually harvesting users email contact lists & comparing them against others to determine your friend suggestions. Below is what they do say.
I do not want “People You May Know” to find people based on contacts I have imported using the friend finder.
If you have ever used friend finder, the People You May Know feature may show people who have your email address in their address book and/or contacts that you have in your address book. If you would like Facebook to remove these contacts, please follow the instructions found here. …..Via the Facebook Help Center
If the above suggestions aren’t enough to make you feel comfortable about friends being suggested to you or even whose profile you may show up on as a friend suggestion, maybe you should just delete your Facebook profile all together. Facebook and privacy are two words that don’t mesh very well. Your digital fingerprint is already on the Internet and chances are if someone wants to find you… they will.Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah Creative Marketing Director Aries – Graphic Design & Internet Marketing http://ariesgdim.com Indianapolis, IN firstname.lastname@example.org
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