Why Does a Person Disappear from “People You May Know” on Facebook?

Photo of author

Written by: Alex Popa


Why Does a Person Disappear from “People You May Know” on Facebook?

Did you ever wonder why the friend recommendations in the “People You May Know” list on Facebook are not always the same?

Some of the people there disappear and get replaced with others. Why is that?

Well, that’s because the “People You May Know” list has been refreshed in the meantime.

If you don’t send any friend requests to these people, then Facebook will refresh the list constantly.

Other factors influence this list. Please read below to find out what they are!

Why does Facebook refresh the ”People You May Know” list?

First, you should know how Facebook creates this list to answer this question. If you haven’t noticed, most of the people there aren’t total strangers. You may know them.

They’re related to you one way or another. Either they’re friends of your friends, or they’re in your phone contact list, or they live near you, or they live near your friends.

That’s because Facebook’s algorithms are tracking your every move and bit of information that comes into contact with Facebook.

To create the “People You May Know” list, Facebook uses:

  1. Your real-time location
  2. Your phonebook contact list
  3. The pages you like
  4. The posts you comment
  5. Your public info (place of work, birthday, school, etc)
  6. People you are tagged with
  7. Check-ins to locations
  8. Email contacts

In other words, Facebook is way too intrusive and collects much information about you.

Related: Why Does My Music Stop When I Open Facebook?
Related: Why Is The “Add Friend” Button Not Showing on Facebook?
Related: Why Can’t I See “Last Active” on Facebook Messenger?

Why Does a Person Disappear from "People You May Know" on Facebook?

Why Does a Person Disappear from the “People You May Know” Section on Facebook?

If you don’t interact with this section, Facebook will regularly update and refresh it to keep you on your toes.

Plus, you’re always doing things on Facebook, whether liking a post, commenting on another, entering a group, etc.

Facebook watches these things and learns more about you. Perhaps you’ve recently posted a photo at a local bar.

The algorithm will find people who have also been at that bar and recommend them to you.

If you’ve recently added a person to your phonebook contact list, Facebook will recommend it.

Your email contacts, Facebook can access them too. There aren’t too many things that Facebook can’t access these days.

The algorithm recommends people based on your latest actions and interests. It continually refreshes the “People You May Know” section to reflect your changing interests.

It operates in real-time, and it’s always active!

How Can I Prevent Facebook from Tracking Me?

There’s a simple way of preventing this from happening. To stop Facebook’s algorithm from tracking you, change the Facebook app permissions on your phone.

To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Open your phone Settings
Open your phone Settings
Open your phone Settings

Look for the Gear icon on your phone – those are your Settings. Tap on it when you find the icon.

Then, move to the next step!

  1. Select “Apps
Select “Apps”
Select “Apps”

In your “Settings,” look for the “Apps” option and tap on it. That’s where you’ll find the Facebook app.

The “Apps” option should be near the “Battery” and “Security” options, but it may vary depending on your device.

  1. Tap on “Manage Apps
Tap on “Manage Apps”
Tap on “Manage Apps”

On the “Apps” page, select “Manage Apps.” If you don’t have this option, ignore this step or select the most appropriate option.

The goal is to get to the app list on your phone.

  1. Search for “Facebook
Search for “Facebook”
Search for “Facebook”

Next, you need to find the Facebook app. I recommend using the search box at the top of the page.

If you don’t have a search box, find the app manually. Once you find it, tap on it to open the “App Info” page.

  1. Select “App Permissions
Select “App Permissions”
Select “App Permissions”

On the “App Info” page, look for the “App Permissions” option and select it. That’s where you can control how intrusive Facebook’s algorithm is.

  1. Disable all permissions
Disable all permissions
Disable all permissions

On this page, you’ll see multiple permissions, including “Camera,” “Calendar,” “Location,” “Phone,” and more.

Disable the ones you’re most worried about. I recommend disabling the Location, Phone, Contacts, and Microphone.

But for every option you leave enabled, you give Facebook a portion of your private life to manipulate.


The “People You May Know” section on Facebook is tailored-made for every individual user.

Facebook uses many types of personal data about you when creating it, such as:

  • Your phonebook contacts
  • Real-time location
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Photos 
  • Public info you post
  • Email contacts
  • Check-ins

These people “you may know” are, in fact, not entirely strangers. You may know some of them. Others might be related to you, and you don’t know it.

If you want to stop Facebook from spying on you, disable all permissions of the Facebook app.

Go to your phone’s settings – Apps – Facebook – Permissions. Once you’re there, disable the permissions that are worrying you the most!

Can people who disappear from the “People You May Know” list reappear?

Yes, they can. If you start having things in common with them, Facebook will recommend them again.

The first time Facebook eliminated them from your friend suggestions, perhaps you were in the same group, and you quit.

Facebook noticed this and distanced itself from that person because you had fewer things in common.

But if you join the same group in the future, and that person is still in there, Facebook might recommend them again.

The same goes for anything else you can think of. Did you remove a friend from Facebook but still tag them in posts?

Facebook will recommend them to you!

Isn’t Facebook supposed to be private and anonymous?

No, it’s not. I mean, it’s supposed to protect your privacy from strangers if you know how to use the platform.

As for any data collected by Facebook for their use, that’s fair game. They specify these things in their user guidelines and Privacy Policy.

If you don’t agree with the data collection, don’t use the app. Most people don’t have a problem with it, though.

Even in the case explained above, you can prevent Facebook from tracking you by disabling the permissions.

For now, there are ways you can fight the intrusiveness of Facebook.

As for what the future unfolds, we don’t know that yet.

Photo of author

Alex Popa

My name is Alex and I have a knack for social media in all its shapes and forms. I’ve dealt with such things for quite some time and I noticed that many people have issues with social media and technicalities.

Unforeseen errors, bugs, and other problems make their use of social media problematic. These things will be discussed amply in the guides on Whizcase.

I'll present the facts as they are, and offer quick and easy solutions for them.

Leave a Comment

Join the community for periodic updates to your inbox!

    By signing up to the Whizcase newsletter you agree to receive electronic communications from Whizcase that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content.