Decipher Facebook’s ‘people you may know’ feature
Gizmodo’s PYMK Inspector helps helps you pinpoint source of baffling connections
“There are dozens and dozens of other, unspecified kinds of information it [Facebook] may use.”
Have ever wondered how Facebook comes up with suggestions for its People You May Know feature? Sometimes, it will use names of people in your phone contacts or someone you’ve emailed just once; it could be anyone from your doctor to a long forgotten ex. And sometimes there are unfathomable connections: people who are not linked to you in any discernible manner nor wish to connect with.
Gizmodo Media Group’s Special Projects Desk has developed a tool called the People You May Know (PYMK) Inspector to help you get to the bottom of these suggestions because, aside from mutual friends and contact lists, “there are dozens and dozens of other, unspecified kinds of information it [Facebook] may use”.
The PYMK Inspector app (Mac-only) scans suggestions every 6 hours, making connections between refreshed lists to try and find patterns. The idea is to try and account for all suggestions and pinpoint connections that Facebook should not know about, such as Gizmodo’s example of exposing sex workers’ real names to their clients.