As cool as it is as a social networking tool, Facebook is a nosy big-brother app as much as anything else. They go out of their way to track and profile their users, as this info has tremendous value for them. Have you ever wanted to know what Facebook REALLY thinks about you though? Sign on to Facebook from a desktop or laptop (not your phone or tablet) and follow these steps:
- Go to http://www.facebook.com/ads/preferences on your browser. That will bring you to a page with your ad preferences.
- Under the “Interests” header, click the “Lifestyle and Culture” tab.
From there you’ll see the categories for Facebook’s profile of you. I’ve done this myself, already pretty creeped out by this profiling process they’re doing in the background, and I’ve got to see that I’m almost as fascinated as I am disturbed. One of the labels they’ve placed on me is Epistemology, which totally surprises me as a word that I’ve never heard of, but upon reading the definition, sounds pretty on point for my interests. They supposedly only use these profiles they’ve made of users for marketing, to show you ads that are might be more relevant to the profile they’ve made of you, privacy be damned. I personally have a strong dislike of this kind of activity. How about rather than show me what you think I want to see, you just display basic adds and let me decide for myself whether I care to look at it. This profiling and labeling practice gives me the creeps and I can tell you that I have never intentionally clicked on any Facebook at anyway. For those interested, they do provide a slow click-by-click method of deleting the labels they’ve placed on you, in case you object that strongly.
The New York Times has a pretty good article on the subject at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/24/us/politics/facebook-ads-politics.html, if you want a little more detail on the whole deal.