Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

What Facebook thinks I like

11 Comments

OK; a moment of utter silliness…
Last night I saw a piece in New Statestmanyou can find it here – about Facebook and what Facebook knows about us.

220px-HAL9000.svgThe basic idea is, you click “Like” on Facebook, their computers collect and collate the data, and they build an in-depth profile they use to aim their advertisement at you.
Yes, Facebook advertisement… those weird ads about stuff you couldn’t care less that pop up once in a while.

So, basically, you log in on Facebook, and then direct your browser here

https://www.facebook.com/ads/preferences

and start laughing.
Because, admittedly, you realize how far we are from artificial intelligence – and how close we are to artificial dorkness.

According to my Facebook profile, I like Sword & Sorcery, The Kinks, Roleplaying Games, Stevie Nicks and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries… something it does not take massive big data analysis to determine.
But apparently I also like Ebony Magazine (never saw a copy, it’s not sold in my country), Dancing with the Stars (what?), and Pink Floyd1.

BaggageInformation.6c46And what of my hobbies?
Cars and motorcycles? French bulldogs?
Owls, yarn, turtles, penguins, the undead, vultures…? My hobbies?2
“Baggage” is one of my hobbies? Really, Facebook? Baggage?
But apparently also Predation, Pollination and Hobbies are among my hobbies. I’d love to get targeted ads for predation.
Or about Ragnarok

There is a good thing about all of this: you can clear your record.
From that page you can select a series of options can will tell FB to stop trying second guessing you and trying to sell you a two-year subscription to Ebony Magazine with a gift vulture and a Pink Floyd record about pollination included.
Or something.


  1. I guess a few friends of mine are rolling on the floor laughing at this one. 
  2. my brother suggested I could take a few random items and use them as story seeds: undead owls on motorcycles, for instance. 
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Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

11 thoughts on “What Facebook thinks I like

  1. I deleted my FB account (back when you could still ‘Delete’ it and not just ‘De-activate’ it) back in April 2013.
    I’ve never looked back.

    Like

    • FB sneaks into your life – I subscribed to so many services through it, that turning my back on it would require lots of work. And I use to keep in touch with people, mostly, that I would not be in touch with otherwise.
      But IT IS getting intrusive :/

      Like

  2. Yes, I knew a lady who was a teacher, and she said that whenever she went on Facebook, she would get sleazy ads for older women who want to date young boys. Apparently because she “likes” stuff related to children, because she is a teacher, their ad-ware thinks she “likes” kids in an entirely different sense. Creepy, really.

    Like

  3. When I bailed on FB, it took literally over a half an hour to go through the process. I don’t even want to go into how long it took to find the starting point. When I was done, a notice came up telling me that if I reconsidered the deletion, all I had to do was log in to my account within 90 days and my account would be restored.

    Any organization that wants to keep me as a member that bad is an organization I don’t want to belong to! LOL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had to edit out nightclubs. I’ve never danced in my life and I hate nightclubs so I wonder how it got there.

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  5. Every now and then, the mobile version of FB starts flooding my homepage with boosted posts from a variety of things I should be interested in: dieting pages, wellness pages, make-up extraordinnaire’s pages. All things I don’t give a rat’s ass about, all things I then proceed to eliminate from the boring list of my interests (according to FB).
    As for that weird hobby section, oh, man, I’m rolling on the floor laughing:
    – prayer (totally me!)
    – otter (what?!)
    – spirit (the thumbnail for it being a very formal dining hall with white linen and white flower arrangements because… something something something spirit)
    – human
    – electromagnetic radiation
    – invertebrate (which is all your fault, Dave! Yours and the Boys’)
    – day (uh?)
    – mammal
    – count (as in the title, not the activity)
    Good grief, what a dazzling display of intelligence!

    Like

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