Find Your “Stalkers”

WANT TO SEE WHO VIEWS YOUR PROFILE THE MOST? RIGHT CLICK ON THE NEWSFEED, CLICK VIEW PAGE SOURCE, AND SEARCH FOR ORDERED FRIENDS. THESE ARE THE ID NUMBERS OF YOUR FRIENDS RANKED BY WHO VIEWS YOUR PROFILE THE MOST.

Over-excited statuses much like this one have started to circulate around Facebook, and I have no doubt they will go viral within the next few days (though I have only seen one so far, several of my friends have seen the same post from different sources).  Though it may have more validity than the average viral post, I fear it is yet another case of posting without fact checking.

The post does show promise.  Unlike scams that have hit Facebook in the past, promising to show your biggest stalkers but in actuality printing out random names, this list seems eerily correct.  In my case, and the case of many online, my “top” friends were people I interact with fairly regularly on Facebook and would consider my closest friends (for the most part).  So much so that I was at first very inclined to believe this list could tell me exactly who stalked me most on Facebook.

However, the fact that Facebook has not yet commented on the meaning of “ordered friends” makes me weary, and reminds me yet again that we cannot just blindly trust the posts of people online.  When I googled for its significance, I found a hodgepodge of even more hopelessly off-base answers, each asserted with conviction that it almost caused me to lose faith in everything I read online.

Some of these answers were:

– an alphabetical list of people on chat (incorrect, mine was not alphabetical)

– a random list of people on chat (incorrect, mine showed people not on chat)

– a random listing of Facebook friends (incorrect, mine showed my closest friends)

– most recent profile views (incorrect, mine did not change over time)

– total cumulative profile views (possible, but some of my top people I friended recently)

– a list of people who have viewed your profile most (possible)

– the people you have interacted with the most (possible)

Aside from the last three, which are still on the table, I was able to disprove most of the responses being heatedly argued within a matter of seconds.  But what does it actually mean? The most logical interpretation I can find is that it is a mix of the last three ideas – some sort of algorithm that weights different types of interactions on Facebook, such as messaging, tagged pictures together, posts, likes, profile views, and family trees.  Facebook has admitted to ranking friends they think users are closest to or most likely to care about so that they will show up most in your newsfeed – have we just unlocked this list?

While that may be the case, the majority of the people who repost this do not seem to know or care if it is factually correct.  In fact, the Facebook algorithm for closest friends seems boring compared to the promise of scandal embedded in the phrase “most profile views”.  A Gawker article about the algorithm was even titled “See a Secret List of Who You’re Stalking Most on Facebook” before delving into the deeper issues.

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