Removing Imported Social Contacts

Clearing those pesky imported contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Posted by Andrew on 19 June 2015 | 2 minutes

Social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, flourish through connectedness. If you’ve been using any of these networks you’ll no doubt be familiar with the bombardment of friendship recommendations. Some are ridiculous: your partner’s brother’s wife’s best friend’s husband, who you’ve never met. Yet some are unnervingly insightful: that terrible date from five years ago, who you hoped you’d never have to think of again.

One way the networks form these recommendations is by trawling your personal contacts. Have you ever allowed a social network to import your address book? How about accepting a mobile app’s request to access your phone’s contact list? If so, it’s likely your contacts were stored by that social network to help with future recommendations.

At that time, your contact list likely contained people who you’ve since fastidiously deleted. Yet, you can be sure your favourite social network will have them set aside ready to recommend when you least expect, or want, to see them.

Fear not! You can clear these stored contacts easily via the following links (be sure to sign in first).

A few things to keep in mind:

  • If the network still has access to your contact list, the above instructions will only work temporarily. You’ll need to revoke access to your contact list to prevent further additions.
  • Your details may have been gathered from other people’s contact lists, and you may continue to receive recommendations based upon these. I’m not aware of any easy way to request your contact details be removed from other people’s stored contacts.

Happy purging!

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