Reminder, you’re always giving information to Facebook

In case you were wondering how much information you’re providing to Facebook’s advertisers, there is a page for that.

To access the page, you need to bump into an ad on your feed, click the arrow icon on the top right, select “Why am I seeing this?” and then “Manage your ad preferences”. Or click this link and bookmark it, because Facebook hasn’t bothered to add this in a menu or something like that :)

The screenshot above is from the the sub-section “Your categories” under the section “Your Information”. I’ve found myself on various groups (ready to be targetted by marketers) according to information I have provided directly (job description, when I was born and where I live) but also indirectly (what kind of device and browser I use, which locations I tag on my photos, what kind of people my friends are). This information has been further analysed, to extract meaning, e.g. I’m a frequent traveller, I live away from my family and a female friend will have a birthday next week. Marketers dream of such detailed (accurate information)

That said, it seems that you can remove yourself from these machine-appointed categories, but I’m not sure for how long the algorithm will remember your choice. To be certain, you would need to simply(?) stop providing information: clean your profile from job and location information, unfriend any pages you’re really following (you can always sign up on their newsletters/RSS feeds if you’re interested in their content) and don’t add location information on your posts/photos. Finally, periodically visit the Ad Preferences page to check how you’re categorised.

How are you categorised by Facebook? Anything that surprises you? Share in the comments :)

Also published on Medium.

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