People you might know, that’s how you set the “friendship suggestion” feature on Facebook. Facebook’s mission as a company is always changing and today is “Giving people the power to create communities and bring the world closer together.” It’s something about connecting all people. So many suggestions for new friendships. It’s not enough the ones you already have, you’ll always see a “new person.”
People you might know on Facebook
Where do Facebook’s friend suggestions come from?
The suggestions of people you might know on Facebook have the function of helping you find friends—and often ex-boyfriends, co-workers, people you connect with in some way, far from being a friendship you want to cultivate.
Facebook says it uses some data (no more than that) to suggest new contacts.
- Friends in common;
- Facebook groups;
- Tagging in the same photo;
- Your networks (school, university or work informed);
- Uploaded contacts (uploading email and phone lists).
What Facebook always denies is that “People you might know” isn’t the same as people who have stalked you in some way, like visiting your profile.
Are you seeing people you don’t know?
There are some ways to mess up the Facebook bandstand, recognized by the social network. Because most friend suggestions are based on common friends, and some people have come to set the friends list to be private, this could disrupt the “People you might know” feature. It means that some suggestions that are “friends of friends” may not appear in friends in common.
And what can you do in this case?
Not much. The suggestion of friendship on Facebook is a bit obscure.
If your suggestions are too “out of the house”, you can:
- Tap “Remove” next to the person’s name;
- Block someone; this hides that person permanently.
Facebook says these actions help improve suggestions in the “People you might know” section, which would suggest others following the removal.
How to change who can add you as a friend
Another way is to try to hide some of the resources as follows.
- Click the Menu in the upper right corner of Facebook;
- Click Settings and privacy, and settings;
- Click Privacy in the left column;
- Click “Edit” under “Who can send you friend requests?”;
- From the menu, click “All” (totals unknown) or “Friends of friends”.
As a last option, you can still delete the contacts you’ve uploaded to Facebook.
How to delete all contacts you’ve uploaded to Facebook
- Go to the “How to load and manage your contacts” screen;
- Click “Delete all”, mercilessly.
- On Facebook (facebook.com/mobile/facebook/contacts/)
- In Messenger (facebook.com/mobile/messenger/contacts/)
Managing contact uploading on Facebook
One of the data sources cited by Facebook are uploaded contacts (automatic upload of mailing lists and phones) through the social networking app.
The good news (although you don’t know how far) is that you can manage uploading contacts by deleting lists or clearing information you don’t want to share. You can manage continuous contact uploading in the Android and iOS apps (iPhone and iPad) and on Facebook Lite. Also, do it in Messenger.
When continuous contact uploading is turned on, Facebook continuously loads contacts from your phone or tablet each time you sign in to your account.
How to turn off continuous uploading of contacts on Facebook
The path may differ slightly between Android, iOS, and Lite versions.
- Tap the Menu in the upper-right corner of Facebook;
- Tap Settings and privacy and Settings;
- Find the “Media and contacts” section;
- Tap next to “Continuous contact upload” to turn it on or off.
Stay tuned: Turning off contact uploading in the Facebook app won’t automatically turn off contact uploading in the Messenger app.
How to delete your contacts from Messenger
- Open your Messenger app;
- Under Chats, tap your profile picture in the upper left corner;
- Tap Phone Contacts;
- Tap “Manage contacts” and “Delete all contacts.”
Keep in your time, too, that if you use the Facebook app on more than one phone or tablet, you’ll need to turn off continuous contact loading on each phone.
Why delete contacts?
Known by the acronym PYMK (People You May Know), the feature raised concerns among sex workers who feared for their security and identity disclosure when Facebook recommended that its customers add them to the app (their real profiles). That is, exposing their private lives to customers.
Another striking case revealed that patients by a psychiatrist were recommended to each other as friends. One of the theories about this “coincidence” is that because all patients had the psychiatrist’s number saved, Facebook assumed that they were a network of connected people (without imagining a demand for privacy).
It is recalled that the PYMK, over the years, have revealed traitorous conjugates to partners and recommended that rape victims be “friends” of rapists.
What we do know is that, on a day-to-day high, Facebook’s friend suggestions can be expensive and cause problems. The controversial feature does not have a definitive opt-out.
What’s more complex about friendship suggestions is that even by disabling options, you can’t fully protect your own privacy. If someone adds you as a contact, your email and phone continue to be used in the feature.
Regardless of who is being suggested or how someone is being suggested, a pertinent question to ask is: how does Facebook think all these people can be considered “friends”? The more friends, the better. Define friend.
As we’ve seen, the suggestion of friendship on Facebook is still a black box.
I think, however, that we have clarified some issues here.