For some reason I keep getting emails from Twitter:

twitter_username, we found some people you may know on Twitter

All the suggested people are coming my Gmail contacts. The email registered in twitter is not a Google account and I only forward incoming emails to my Gmail account.

Could that be the reason? Is there a way to stop Twitter looking into my contacts, or perhaps stop Google giving my info to twitter?

  • 1
    When you go to this page is Twitter listed in the authorized sites? I'd show a screenshot example, but when I tried to connect it Twitter showed me the fail whale. Dec 16, 2012 at 21:04
  • @Dez: Twitter is not listed. I only got Google Chrome. Dec 16, 2012 at 21:50
  • It appears that if you install Twitter on your Mobile, all your contacts are being uploaded to twitter.
    – Jasper
    Aug 8, 2015 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


I have no inside information on how Twitter calculates 'user affinity'...but it seems likely to me that it's a 'two-way street' problem.

By that I mean, even if you haven't used Twitter's Find My Friends feature, a number of people who have you in their address book may have used that same feature to import their Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail contacts. With the info from those people, Twitter knows to not only suggest you to them - but also them to you.

When you add in other 'tells' (e.g., mutual people you both interact with, geographic proximity, etc), chances are Twitter can make a good guess as to who's a connection and who's not. And then you get a somewhat-creepy email that seems to know more about you than it should.

LinkedIn does a similar thing - which is why you'll often receive a People You May Know suggestion on LinkedIn of someone you haven't spoken to for years. Perhaps you were automatically added to their email contact list years ago. When that person then imports their contacts into LinkedIn, LinkedIn makes the two-way connection in the background - and recommends they connect with you as well as you connect with them.

This is how I wound up getting a 'LinkedIn connection' suggestion from someone who emailed me about renting a room in my apartment off of a Craigslist ad almost 10 years ago (& 1000 miles away).

Which, not gonna lie, was a little creepy.

  • That's a good point, and likely to be the reason why I'm getting those emails. As you said, can be a little creepy. Thanks Dec 16, 2012 at 23:45
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    It goes far beyond that. I have created a brand new email, which I used it to sign up on twitter, in incognito mode browser, without using my actual name, and they had no problem to find out who I am. The only information that would give up my identity was the phone number which was not linked with any other twitter account previously. This means they collaborate with other parties to get extra information. cough Google cough
    – Chris
    Jan 30, 2015 at 10:10

Also the twitter app uploads all your contact numbers to the account and finds and suggests new people on twitter based on that too. I logged into my twitter and removed all imported contacts.

  • I can't see how this answers the question. If you believe you can answer the question, please rephrase your post so that it is clearer. Apr 13, 2015 at 8:49
  • Murtaza> Does twitter uploads your contact numbers on mobile phone? And how did you remove the imported contacts - as you say you did?
    – Jasper
    Aug 8, 2015 at 15:39

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