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Why Gay Men Are Worth So Much To Facebook 270

Posted by timothy
from the commerce-mutes-prejudice dept.
Barence writes "PC Pro has a feature on how social networks sold your privacy, which includes some interesting comparisons on the value of different demographics to Facebook. For example, an advert that targets everyone within a 10-mile radius of a medium-sized British town (Dorking) is valued at 28p per click by Facebook's advertising tool. However, targeting single gay men in the area with a preference for nightclubbing raises the price to 71p per click — 2.5x the price of targeting the general public. Such precise targeting also raises other issues. Whittling down ads to target such precise demographics can result in ads targeting as few as 20 people, making it theoretically possible to identify those targeted. 'I think the worst scenario might be where someone who hates gays uses Facebook's targeting to identify gay users and later attack them,' says Paul Francis, scientific director of the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems."
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Why Gay Men Are Worth So Much To Facebook

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  • The math is simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@@@comcast...net> on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @09:38AM (#39483799)

    The gay's tend not to have kids. That means that they have more discretionary income. More discretionary income equates to more readily purchasing more expensive toys more often than the guy that supports a family. It's why you see shiny things like the latest Itoy so often in the hands of gay people, they can afford them. It's just math and the logic is sound.

    The second part though, the idea that someone would go to all the trouble to use something like this to track down a bunch of gays is absurd. Why bother doing that when if your a nutter you just go to your local gay bar instead? You know the one that advertises to attract all of those gays?

  • by dealmaster00 (904299) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @09:40AM (#39483825)
    Don't want to be targeted? Don't use Facebook.
  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @09:41AM (#39483831)

    Will it also include all the deeply-closeted homosexuals who always seem to be the most vocal gay-bashers in any given group? Because I'm thinking that if someone like Ted Haggard [wikipedia.org] sees his own house on the list, it may actually result in a helpful moment of epiphany.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @09:50AM (#39483939)
    While Homosexuality gets a lot of discrimination and hate... For the most part they are living an above average standard of life, so they have money, so advertising targeted towards them is valuable.
    It comes down to a group that doesn't quite fit in well with the general public and Adds saying We will welcome you to come to our location where you won't feel like an outcast. So Advertising targeted to that group is far more effective... Thus costs more.

    Many Other Minorities don't work as well.
    Minority Races - for the most part the have a lower then average salary. That means most of the people will be less likely to spend money.
    Non-Christians - For the religious non-Christians they have their places of worship where they feel like they belong. For Atheists for most places they go they are able to pass as a normal citizen. And if their religion doesn't have much of a dress requirement they are normally able to pass off anyways. For some of the real minorities the numbers are too small to advertise for.
  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @09:50AM (#39483943) Homepage

    My guess would be that once buying habits are set for parents, they are hard to change. So advertising for that demographic would be worth less.

  • The consumer. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @09:57AM (#39483993)

    All companies care about is advertising turning into real sales. Gay guys are likely closer to females in terms of frequent frivolous spending, i.e. spending on clothing and other accessories. Not that guys necessarily spend less, but their spending is more focused and comes in bigger chunks at less frequent intervals. Also, gay guys, like women, are more fashion and image conscious which means they'll buy into fads more readily and willfully overpay for products they fund appealing. The invention of the metrosexual was an attempt to bring that same mindset to straight men. I'd say it's met with some success, but it's certainly not as reliable as other demographics.

    The interest in Facebook is obvious; targeted advertising. The ultimate goal for any company in the consumer space is that we all turn into consumer whores; gender or sexual orientation is irrelevant unless a particular demographic shows increased inclination to spend.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @09:59AM (#39484009)

    You're the product, not the customer. And products don't get to complain about privacy, they're products!

  • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @10:08AM (#39484099)

    I agree that the idea is kind of silly, mostly because it's just too much damn work to attack a gay person when there are significantly easier avenues available, but it's not as simple as you make it out to be.

    If your profile is wide open to the world, then yeah, it's precisely that silly. If it's restricted to friends and family, it's still available to targeted advertising and that advertising can "leak" data. Or at least that's his premise.

    Public safety issue? Not really. If you want to attack some gays, just find a gay bar or a gay dating site or something. Paying money to target advertising to leak private data so you can track them down to attack is, well, an awful lot of effort. Then again I don't understand the whole homophobia thing, so I guess the entire concept is lost on me.

  • by SomePgmr (2021234) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @10:09AM (#39484109) Homepage

    The part I liked was this theory that some evil character might use facebook ads to find openly gay men by targeting their demographic with ads, hoping they fall for those ads, then somehow trying to convert their clicks to identities with real contact info... so, what, they can go commit a 'hate crime'...?

    Even for crazy SOB's, that's about the worst plan ever. Like, villain in a TV special, dumb.

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @11:31AM (#39484907)

    Actually, in general, the trans community (US) wants nothing to do with such people, they are pretty ostracized and many trans peeps consider their very mention (not by just term, but their existence) to be offensive.. so they are generally not welcome under the 'transgendered' umbrella.

    Well, well. It looks like gay people are only human after all. They have the same kind of prejudices and hypocrisy as the rest of us. I hear that gay people also attack men who identify themselves as bi-sexual too.

    As an outsider looking in, I find the entire thing to be quite amusing. Perhaps the gay people should get their own house in order before they start attacking society in general demanding special rights and treatment.

  • by Americano (920576) on Tuesday March 27, 2012 @02:01PM (#39487381)

    I love my transgender friends dearly,

    Your tone when talking about them would certainly call that statement into question.

    All you have "proven" is that you have some friends who you don't feel are passable. From that, you have generalized to the assertion that "no transgendered person is passable as the opposite sex, and the only reason somebody would find them attractive is a fetish." Pointing out the obvious transgendered person at a gay pride parade doesn't prove your point, either.

    And for what it's worth, I'm sure your attitude that "they do NOT look like the sex they feel they look like, they either look like men in drag or women in drag," is in no way contributory to your so-called friends feeling that "constant voice in the back of their head, telling them they aren't female or male enough yet," either. I mean, with "friends" like you eager to point out that nobody could ever find them attractive, or could only find them attractive as the object of a sick fetish, how could they not be happy with the results of their transition?

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