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Facebook Lets Users Opt Out of Targeted Ads 97

mpicpp (3454017) writes Facebook users who are annoyed by the targeted ads that pop up in their News Feed will soon have more control over what they see. Like Google, Facebook collects all kinds of information on its users and uses that information to serve up targeted ads. For some people, especially privacy advocates, it seemed a little creepy to have a social network tracking a user's activity and then using that data to sell them stuff. On Thursday, Facebook announced that users will soon be able to opt out of that targeted ad system through controls in their Web browser and iOS and Android phones. Facebook will also show users what information they have collected about them and let them edit the kinds of ads they want to see. If someone is confused about why they are seeing an ad for P.F. Chang's, for example, they can simply click on "Why am I seeing this ad?"
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Facebook Lets Users Opt Out of Targeted Ads

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  • Stalking ads (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @03:09PM (#47224385)
    What I see quite commonly these days are "stalking" ads. I watch some products and when I navigate to other sites, advertisements for those products haunt me absolutely everywhere.
  • Fake your data (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zed Pobre ( 160035 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @03:15PM (#47224419)

    I discovered that if you fake your birthplace, workplace, and university to a country which doesn't primarily use Roman lettering, you get an advertisement bar mostly consisting of completely unintelligible script. It's almost as good as an ad-blocker.

    If I ever get free time, I may go back and poke more at that script I started which takes random public Facebook and Twitter posts, feeds them into dadadodo, and then posts them as hidden to everyone except a list that only has fake alternate Facebook accounts in it.

    We can't stop them from gathering data, but we can chaff it so badly that it's worthless.

  • by Unordained ( 262962 ) <> on Thursday June 12, 2014 @03:16PM (#47224423)

    I'd like to opt out of the untargeted ads. I don't so much mind relevant, possibly-useful advertising -- I don't feel like it wastes my time so much, or even, in a way, creepily insinuates I would be interested in things I'm totally not. As long as the targeted advertising is done right, I'd rather have it. The more accurate such advertising gets, the more value-per-print it can generate, and therefore the less overall advertising will be required to sustain the "free" services we use. One well-chosen ad is worth dozens of spammy ones.

    Or ... could we get the big advertising systems to allow us to pay them, centrally, to remove ads across all the sites they print on? And have them just forward a portion of the money to the sites themselves, just as they would have paid them to print an equivalent number of ads, while serving me nothing but 1px placeholders?

  • by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @03:23PM (#47224475)

    Yes it has. They're appearing to be doing something about protecting privacy, so they don't get sued/fined in countries where they have real privacy laws.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday June 12, 2014 @03:59PM (#47224731)

    Social networks are useful. It's about time we wrote and popularized a distributed one, hosted on our own machines rather than dependent on some group of folks to whom we are products, not customers.

    Diaspora is dead, dude - just get over it.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson