General Question

richardhenry's avatar

How does Facebook deal with two friends who have the same name?

Asked by richardhenry (12623 points ) October 27th, 2008

Has anyone come across this before? Surely things like the tagging interface for photos (where the friend selector is just text and no avatar) would be useless if you can’t tell two people apart.

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6 Answers

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Yes, it lists their network in parenthesis their name. Of course mine are in two different networks, so that’s actually helpful. I’m not sure what it would do if they weren’t…

richardhenry's avatar

Ahh I missed that. That’s helpful. I’d be surprised if you had two people with the same name in the same network anyway.

beccalynnx's avatar

i had two friend in the same network with the same name. for a while, when sending event invites or tagging, i just tagged them both, but eventually some other friends decided that one of them had to change their name. so one added her middle name.
trust me, it was confusing for a while.

autumn43's avatar

It’s no fun in the “real” world when two people have the same name, from the same family. Your credit histories can get screwed up, if you get parking tickets and don’t pay them they could try and arrest the wrong person, and when someone called we always had to ask “do you want junior or senior?”

Don’t ever name one of your children after you. Let everyone have their own name and identity and be happy. :0)

can you imagine how hard it is with 42 other people before me named autumn!? LOL!

mjoyce's avatar

From a purely technical perspective every user and entity (group, network, photo) has a unique ID associated with it. This way the ID’s can be associated and then the description (Your Name, network name) can be arbitrary, and can collide with one another without causing backend issues. This is very typical with relational database design.

For example Fluther uses a unique ID for each question. It is obscured in the URL:
http://www.fluther.com/disc/26163/how-does-facebook-deal-with-two-friends-who-have-the-same/

This question has an ID of 26163 which is automatically generated, the one after it 26164 etc. This way you can have two topics with the same exact subject, but never collide because they all have a unique ID associated with them in the database.

Not sure if that was quit on point, but useful in your quest nonetheless.

Cheers!
Mike

zargouz's avatar

The very pesky problem is inviting to an FB group a person with exactly the same FB account name as others.

To solve this problem, go to the FB site of the person you intend to invite and copy his FB ID in your browser’s URL. The URL would probably look like this:

http://www.facebook.com/john.smith.9

In this case, “john.smith.9”, is the FB ID of the person you intend to invite to the FB group.

Then, go the FB group site, and in “Add People to Group” pop-up menu, type the FB ID: john.smith.9. Viola, your invitation is sent specifically to the friend you intended to invite to your FB group.

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