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  1. #1 How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You've Ever Met 
    PORCUS STAPHUS ADMIN Rockntractor's Avatar
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    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 Sarasota,” and they say, “Oh, I have a grandparent in Sarasota,” and they tell you where they live and their name, and you may or may not recognize them.

    You might assume Facebook’s friend recommendations would work the same way: You tell the social network who you are, and it tells you who you might know in the online world. But Facebook’s machinery operates on a scale far beyond normal human interactions. And the results of its People You May Know algorithm are anything but obvious. In the months I’ve been writing about PYMK, as Facebook calls it, I’ve heard more than a hundred bewildering anecdotes:

    • A man who years ago donated sperm to a couple, secretly, so they could have a child—only to have Facebook recommend the child as a person he should know. He still knows the couple but is not friends with them on Facebook.
    • A social worker whose client called her by her nickname on their second visit, because she’d shown up in his People You May Know, despite their not having exchanged contact information.
    • A woman whose father left her family when she was six years old—and saw his then-mistress suggested to her as a Facebook friend 40 years later.
    • An attorney who wrote: “I deleted Facebook after it recommended as PYMK a man who was defense counsel on one of my cases. We had only communicated through my work email, which is not connected to my Facebook, which convinced me Facebook was scanning my work email.”
    • Moe>https://gizmodo.com/how-facebook-fig...met-1819822691
    • Disturbing! I am glad I'm not on Facebook but I bet they have a file on me anyway.
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  2. #2  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    My singular social internet action is CU.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Angry Old White Man's Avatar
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    One way to stop email scanning is to use Protonmail, it is encrypted.
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  4. #4  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    I've lived a fairly innocent life, so I get mostly innocent connections on facebook. I love it-I am in touch with high school friends, church friends, friends I knew who moved before high school, distant relatives I remember playing with at weddings and funerals, etc. Even a few ex-clients. I am careful about what I say on facebook because of my work.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member SVPete's Avatar
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    Those "bewildering" stories are not necessarily all that weird.

    People who are not FB friends but have friends in common are likely to show up in PYMK.

    People who attended certain schools often know each other.

    Whether one mentions it in posts or it just shows up repeatedly in one's cell phone GPS, FB knows where one works, attends church, and sometimes one's activities. PYMK draws from all that.

    And people's minds sometimes trick them. They remember PYMK suggestions that are correct, but not the many incorrect PYMK suggestions.
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    Senior Member enslaved1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    [*]Disturbing! I am glad I'm not on Facebook but I bet they have a file on me anyway.[/LIST]
    I've read a couple reports that FB does generate profiles on people who aren't signed up, using what members say about them. So, if you have friends or relatives who mention you, you're probably right.

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  7. #7  
    Administrator SaintLouieWoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enslaved1 View Post
    I've read a couple reports that FB does generate profiles on people who aren't signed up, using what members say about them. So, if you have friends or relatives who mention you, you're probably right.

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    That's scary. I don't do facebook as don't like the loss of privacy. But one of my sons spends a lot of time on FB. I hate it, but a friend/neighbor sent me an invitation to LinkedIn. I stupidly responded and since then have been deluged. I'm going to try to get out of it.
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