Grindr says they don’t give data to Facebook. Facebook agrees. Still, last Thursday, Facebook’s “People You May Know” started blowing up with folks I’d met on Grindr and Scruff over the years. Over 40 of the first 70 suggestions I went through were from these apps. I have many (if not all) of these people’s phone numbers in my phone, which Facebook has access to. Most of those numbers have been there for years. So what changed last Thursday that made Facebook suggest them as friends? I don’t know.
I’m lucky to not be in the position of needing to keep the fact that I’m gay a secret and I happily don’t feel the need to avoid most of these guys. It’s been nice to connect with a few of them. But I’m guessing for many other folks, this was a pretty unwelcome collision of worlds.
It’s reminiscent of news in 2012 that Target could predict someone was pregnant with creepy precision, and perhaps even before they knew themselves.
I made a collage of the “People You May Know” Grindr/Scruff connections from Facebook (shrunk and obscured to maintain their privacy even if Facebook is not).