[Air-L] FW: How does Facebook find friends?

Peter Timusk ptimusk at sympatico.ca
Fri Sep 24 06:03:20 PDT 2010

It may be that the relatives have mentioned his name in some past post or
that physically they are on the same internet location or internet wire to
their location. Much is done geographically with the Internet. Many other
web sites know where I live or tied in google maps and know exactly where I
am on the street map as soon as I open their web site.

Sometimes they locate me at the local army listening post as I believe our
cities internet passes through there.

Peter Timusk
at571 at ncf.ca
ptimusk at sympatico.ca
web: www.crystalcomputing.net
blogs www.cyborgcitizen.org

-----Original Message-----
From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org
[mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Anders Fagerjord
Sent: September-24-10 2:14 AM
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: [Air-L] How does Facebook find friends?

Dear all,

does anyone understand the Facebook friend suggestions algorithm? 

Last night, my stepson joined Facebook. Immediately, it suggested he be
friends with his mother, his grandfather, and his granduncle. 

How could Facebook know they were related? They had no friends in common,
and didn't share friends-of-friends either. His last name is common in
Norway (and his granduncle has a different name). He didn't enter any phone
number or postal address.

He used his gmail account when he joined Facebook, but did not allow the
book to search his e-mail contacts (and he doesn't know his uncle's e-mail

Does anyone understand how Facebook pulls this trick?


Anders Fagerjord, dr.art.
Associate professor, Head of Studies

Department of Media and Communication,
University of Oslo
P.O. Box 1093 Blindern
N-0317 OSLO

http://www.media.uio.no   http://fagerjord.no

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