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AIBU?

Facebook - friend suggestions?

25 replies

AMDB5 · 10/10/2022 21:00

Can anybody explain to me how Facebook friend suggestions works?

For context, my FB profile name isn't in my real name and I have no friends attached to my profile, it's a very low key profile for a reason (giving evidence in court)

I only follow a few pages and don't go on FB very often

My Mum's ex fiancée popped up as a suggested friend recently and I'd love to know how?

I've never viewed his profile before, I didn't even know he was on FB. My Mum split up with him 8+ years ago

I haven't got his mobile or any other contact details. I haven't got any friends linked to my account either so I've absolutely no idea how FB has managed to suggest him as a possible friend

Any ideas?

My Mum said maybe he'd looked at my profile but it's not in my name and it doesn't have a photo of me

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SpicyToothpaste · 10/10/2022 21:05

Have you ever emailed him or has he at some point been in a group email on cc? There will most likely be an email connection somewhere, and he possibly doesn’t have many friends on FB and if you don’t, it will pull out more random ones trying to connect people with a low number of friends with each other.

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TimeForMeToF1y · 10/10/2022 21:07

That's an interesting one Often there is some kind of link but there doesn't s3m to be an obvious one

I also have an anonymous FB profike and I do sometime get suggestions of people I know but the profile has no link to. I don't know why

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LuckyLil · 10/10/2022 21:48

Have you looked on someone else's profile who is a friend of his?

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InCheesusWeTrust · 10/10/2022 21:55

Email, location, similar group interests, liked something common friend like. Million little things tbh

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AMDB5 · 10/10/2022 22:10

This is clutching at straws but the only possible link I can think of is that I have my Mum's mobile stored in my phone's contacts and that possibly she looked at his profile

But, I'm almost certain she didn't know he was on FB until I told her that he'd came up as a friend suggestion as once I told her she tried to find his profile

The whole thing is very big brother. There has to be a link but I have no idea what it is, like I said, they split up a long time ago 8+ years and I haven't even got his mobile. Don't think I ever even had it

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AMDB5 · 10/10/2022 22:12

LuckyLil · 10/10/2022 21:48

Have you looked on someone else's profile who is a friend of his?

No

I didn't even know he was on FB until I saw the friend suggestion. I haven't seen him in over eight years and I don't know anybody that he knows, we don't even live in the same city

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LikeTearsInRain · 10/10/2022 22:16

Did he ever have your number. And do you have this number within the details of your Facebook account? Or your email address?

These apps always ask for your phone contacts or email address book (on Pc) because the data is very powerful for them to see how people are connected. If he agreed to give access to phone contact or email account then they will know you are connected and will suggest as friends to both of you. He perhaps didn’t add your account due to the fake name and Facebook won’t have told him which phone number/email it is associated with.

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InCheesusWeTrust · 10/10/2022 22:17

It doesn't have to be you. You can have a common contact who is acting as a link because they have your and his details.

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Sickandtiredofbeingsick · 10/10/2022 22:44

I had a weird friend suggestion this week, it was the owner of the holiday cottage I rented during the summer! 🤔 I don’t understand why as I’ve never searched him etc. The only thing I can think of is he sent me an iMessage, although I didn’t save his number or anything. It's so creepy! 👀

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Scuttlingherbert · 10/10/2022 23:02

There's a podcast called Reply All about the internet and they had an episode on whether Facebook is listening to our conversations - the conclusion was that they're not but it talks about all the things they are doing.

gimletmedia.com/shows/reply-all/z3hlwr

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Catonamountain · 10/10/2022 23:11

It's not creepy, just algorithms innit

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blinkingtelly · 10/10/2022 23:12

Did you use your normal email address to register for the account? As others have suggested, it can be something as simple as email contacts you have and the Facebook 'machine' joins all the dots. There's also cookies which follow you around the Internet so Facebook cookie might have seen you do something online that's somehow connected to him. It's all very sinister the way it works!

I once got a life home from an event from a friend. On the way back, she picked up another of her friends and by the time I got home, this guy (who I'd shared a car with but never met before) was being offered as a Fb friend suggestion. I wondered if because I had location turned on (and presumably he did too) that Facebook saw we were in close proximity. Freaky!

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AllLopsided · 10/10/2022 23:16

He's a friend of a friend - are you FB friends with your mum? Or you have been in the same place as him? These seem to be common reasons why people come up for me and DH. I am not very active either but for example DH pops up for a friend who comes to see me and logs onto our wifi...

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Tillow4ever · 11/10/2022 00:03

Scuttlingherbert · 10/10/2022 23:02

There's a podcast called Reply All about the internet and they had an episode on whether Facebook is listening to our conversations - the conclusion was that they're not but it talks about all the things they are doing.

gimletmedia.com/shows/reply-all/z3hlwr

Something is listening and I got proof on Friday, although it took me about an hour to realise....

At work, we were having a team meeting (virtual) and going over the 7 different types of rest and discussing which we are good/bad at. One of them was about feeling a sense of love/belonging/purpose and I said that I didn't think I was getting enough of that type of rest because I don't really feel loved, or that I belong anywhere as such or have any real sense of purpose. But meaning in a work context.

Anyway, after work I opened Facebook. A message popped up saying only I could see it and that they know times are tough sometimes and they want to help. Then they gave me three options 1) talk to a friend (if you clicked it, you had to select a Facebook friend and it had a pre-typed message to send), 2) get help from professional organisations (presuming if you clicked that it would give me phone no's etc) or 3) read up on self-help stuff.

It wouldn't let me close it without selecting one.

I had no idea why on earth that would have come up (all I'd been on there for recently was Grey's Anatomy groups) when it dawned on me that it could only have been that work conversation that prompted it.

It's not a coincidence, and it can't be connected to anything else. Whether it was Facebook listening or another app/device is up for debate - but somehow Facebook got wind of it and thought I was depressed or suicidal! Which I wasn't.

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Verytirednow · 11/10/2022 00:09

I regularly talk about a subject and then get relevant ads on FB ..bloody creepy TBH !

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InCheesusWeTrust · 11/10/2022 00:29

It stops when you sort out app permissions

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Hawkins001 · 11/10/2022 00:47

It's the cookies on the tablet ECT, at least that's my theories

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Glitteratitar · 11/10/2022 00:50

No, Facebook definitely listens. I used to joke about it but I genuinely believe it now.

A couple of years ago I found a recipe for cheesecake made with jelly in a recipe book. I told my husband whilst on a phone call that I need to go to the shops to buy jelly. I went on Facebook around 10 minutes later and I had adverts on Facebook for rowntree jelly.

I didn’t google jelly at all and the recipe I found was in a book. Yet Facebook knew I needed jelly…

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TokenGinger · 11/10/2022 11:11

Do you still have the same number as years ago? It's possible he has your number saved and therefore you show in his WhatsApp. WhatsApp and Facebook are both linked, so it could have shown you as a person he may know to him, and therefore vice versa.

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VainAbigail · 11/10/2022 11:42

I’ve heard it before that the friend suggestions are based on those who’ve looked at your profile. And interestingly, I recently had an ex friends kid come up as a suggestion. She was using her first and middle name only and no surname but I saw it. I’d already blocked her mum so it got me wondering if the kid had looked at my profile and then FB thought it might be a good idea for us to be mates?! I’ve blocked her now but it got me thinking, is that how the suggestions work?!

But also likewise, maybe I came up on her suggestions and she just clicked to see my profile….?! I really don’t know, but I’d like to!!!

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InCheesusWeTrust · 11/10/2022 11:46

They don't go by who looked at you.

They do show not just when you have a contact but when someone has both of you in contacts and links it to fb.

So aunt Lydia in Manchester has email for Brenda in London and for Peter in Cardiff. Brenda and Peter have no contact together. Lydia linked it all in her phone and et voilà. Suggested mates.

It happened few times before.

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Glitteratitar · 11/10/2022 11:57

InCheesusWeTrust · 11/10/2022 11:46

They don't go by who looked at you.

They do show not just when you have a contact but when someone has both of you in contacts and links it to fb.

So aunt Lydia in Manchester has email for Brenda in London and for Peter in Cardiff. Brenda and Peter have no contact together. Lydia linked it all in her phone and et voilà. Suggested mates.

It happened few times before.

I disagree, I think it does.

A few years ago I had a suggested friend. The profile picture was of this woman and my ex on their wedding day. I blocked my ex on all platforms after we split and the only way I found out he got married was through his now wife being a suggested friend. They live in the US and we have no mutual connections whatsoever. Now I can see why your theory of Brenda and Peter could be the explanation for this.

However, the following week I went on to my LinkedIn, and she was listed as someone who had viewed my profile (I had premium so perhaps she thought she could hide?). That is too much of a coincidence for her to be a suggested friend on Facebook around the same time she’s been viewing my LinkedIn profile.

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Glitteratitar · 11/10/2022 11:59

Glitteratitar · 11/10/2022 11:57

I disagree, I think it does.

A few years ago I had a suggested friend. The profile picture was of this woman and my ex on their wedding day. I blocked my ex on all platforms after we split and the only way I found out he got married was through his now wife being a suggested friend. They live in the US and we have no mutual connections whatsoever. Now I can see why your theory of Brenda and Peter could be the explanation for this.

However, the following week I went on to my LinkedIn, and she was listed as someone who had viewed my profile (I had premium so perhaps she thought she could hide?). That is too much of a coincidence for her to be a suggested friend on Facebook around the same time she’s been viewing my LinkedIn profile.

Just to add, if my ex had linked his email to Facebook then surely other contacts of his would have also been suggested? We were together for several years so I knew at least some of his contacts on his email, if not half. No one else connected to him ever came up as a suggested friend.

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AMDB5 · 11/10/2022 12:04

I've had my mobile number since 2000

Whether my mum's ex ever had my number or email I really can't remember, it's been nearly ten years since I last saw him

There's obviously a connection somewhere, it's just that I don't know what it is

I've also had people that I used to work with pop up even though I've never been FB friends with them, they've never had any of my contact details, I've never put on my profile where I've worked but I did used to follow the FB page so again maybe that was the link on that occasion

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GiggleWhale · 11/10/2022 12:06

It's because you used your email or phone number and you have a shared contact with them.

if you want to be truly anon on Facebook, never use your phone number and always use an email alias.

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