A Minor Criticism of Facebook’s “People You May Know”

Dear Facebook:

The People You May Know thing? Awesome. Leverage the power of network theory to show you people that you’re likely to know. Here’s the problem: I know that I don’t know a lot of these people. [And some of these people, I know who they are, but we’re not friends in any sort of way, so … why do I want to be continually presented with them?] Please, please, please let me say, “Hey, I know I don’t know who that person is,” and “I know who they are, but we’re not friends”. There is value in the negative as well as the positive.

I get false positives for two reasons:

  1. A lot of the Square Pegs are now on FB, so fans of many of them show up as positives for me on PYMK. More frustratingly to me, folks who are familiar with the SPA and my work with them then end up friending me. I have a very simple rule: if I have to ask “who?” when I see a FB friend request, I ignore it. And I still have 621 FB friends as of this posting.
  2. I know a bunch of current and just-graduated students at UAH, and FB is presuming that I know current students. I know very few current students outside the folks I sit with at hockey games, or actual hockey players. But then FB presumes that I know these UAH Greeks that were in elementary school when I was a freshman, to say nothing of the puck bunnies. I … don’t know those folks, and I generally don’t care to know them. I’ve pretty much friended all the current students I know at this point in my life.

This seems like a terribly obvious thing, but they haven’t implemented it yet.

7 thoughts on “A Minor Criticism of Facebook’s “People You May Know””

  1. I totally agree. I saw the same problem with “friends you may know” on FB but I never got around to blogging it. I guess now if I do it, I’m just echoing your content…where’s the fun in that? 🙂

  2. Now, I did notice something yesterday: in the sidebar appearance of PYMK, a subtle X has now appeared; click it, and that person is not presented to you again, and another person is culled from the list. Why this couldn’t be done on the larger PYMK page, I don’t know …

  3. So… LinkedIn does this too, and it kindof freaks me out. Like… I really don’t have a lot of information on that profile, how do they know that I know someone. I can see if we graduated from college the same year or something, but the other day I had this guy on my list that I went on 2 dates with and have NO OTHER connection to other than living in the same general area. How the heck did they know I might know him? Freaky!

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