People You May Know

January 20, 2009

Facebook has this feature called People You May Know. It’s sort of an aggregrator that runs on the right-hand side of your homepage, listing people it thinks, uh, you may know. I’m sure it’s based on some tidy little algorithm that cross-references your various friends’ friends lists, or something. But it sure yields interesting results.

Right now, I can see three people on it. They are:

  • Someone I’ve never heard of.
  • The father of a guy who married a girl I used to go out with … I don’t get that one at all.
  • A guy I lent money to in 1993, who then defaulted, and when I pressed him on it, went around telling people I was a pimp who lured street kids into prostitution. Do I really have to tell you that was bullshit? I hope not.

There is a “See All” function, but I’m afraid to click it. There are people out there who I don’t want to remember. Yes, this is an effective way to highlight the way we are all connected, but really, do we always want to be?

I can see how this could be a useful tool, but right now I’m not encouraged.



  1. It often highlights people with the helpful comment ‘you both live in Manchester’. Yes, along with a million others! I neither know nor would I want to know them all.

  2. You don’t pimp kids? Shit! There goes my fundraising idea. 😉

  3. Because I have a dozen synners on my FB, I keep getting recommended a load of Brits I have no connection to because they’re friends with Mary or Will or Casey and a bunch of people I’m friends with (i.e. people like you) are friends of them. It’s become and entirely useless tool for me.

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