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‘People You May Know:’ A Controversial Facebook Feature’s 10-Year History

In May 2008, Facebook announced what initially seemed like a fun, whimsical addition to its platform: People You May Know. Read More >>

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Facebook Wanted Us to Kill This Investigative Tool

Last year, we launched an investigation into how Facebook’s People You May Know tool makes its creepily accurate recommendations. By November, we had it mostly figured out: Facebook has nearly limitless access to all the phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, and social media handles most people on Earth have ever used. That, plus its deep mining of people’s messaging behaviour on Android, means it can make surprisingly insightful observations about who you know in real life – even if it’s wrong about your desire to be “friends” with them on Facebook. Read More >>

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Keep Track Of Who Facebook Thinks You Know With This Nifty Tool

Facebook is constantly watching you. Now, you can watch Facebook back. Gizmodo Media Group’s Special Projects Desk is releasing a tool for people who want to study the friend recommendations Facebook chooses to give them. It’s called the “People You May Know Inspector.” To use the tool: Read More >>

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How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met

In real life, in the natural course of conversation, it is not uncommon to talk about a person you may know. You meet someone and say, “I’m from Manchester,” and they say, “Oh, I have a grandparent in Manchester,” and they tell you where they live and their name, and you may or may not recognise them. Read More >>

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People at Facebook Don’t Know How Facebook Works

Facebook is a vast and bewildering operation, working with visible and invisible data streams via opaque algorithms on a scale larger than humans can readily comprehend. Many of us have been baffled, for example, by the social network’s ability to figure out who we know in real life, as reflected by the suggestions that pop up in its “People You May Know” box. Read More >>