Dana Hopkins felt like she was in an "endless loop" with Facebook. The frustration began in September when she purchased an ad on the social network to promote an open mic night she was co-hosting in San Francisco.What happened next was a head-scratcher. Facebook blocked the ad at least six times because the social network said it was political."This is the least political thing I do, and it's pretty innocuous," said Hopkins. The problem, it turned out, wasn't that the event was called Smack Dab Open Mic, or that it was advertised as being for the queer community. The problem was that the bio of a featured attendee, florist Guy Clark, mentioned that years ago he'd received a small business award from Mark Leno, who'd been a California assemblyman at the time. That invited more scrutiny from Facebook."We have never had to battle Facebook over an open mic," Hopkins said. Well, at least not until now. Hopkins was caught on the wrong side of a system Facebook is building to thwart election … [Read more...] about Facebook keeps fumbling political ads
Facebook advertising reports
WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton became a multibillionaire when Facebook bought his messaging app in 2014 for an eye-popping $22 billion. But it's a decision that seems to unsettle him, according to a profile of Acton published by Forbes on Wednesday. Acton left WhatsApp in 2017, and CEO Jan Koum followed in August. Acton's exit, which occurred before his Facebook stock fully vested, cost him $850 million, according to Forbes. The major divide with Facebook was reportedly over monetizing the messaging app, which has 1.5 billion users. Koum and Acton had been resistant to adopting Facebook's widely lucrative targeted advertising model, which uses personal data to let marketers show ads to specific types of users on the social network. The disagreements led to tensions with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg."I sold my users' privacy to a larger benefit," Acton told Forbes. "I made a choice and a compromise. And I live with that every day."Facebook didn't immediately … [Read more...] about WhatsApp co-founder: ‘I sold my users’ privacy’ with Facebook acquisition
Ignorance may be bliss for Facebook's users.About 74 percent of adults in the US who use Facebook didn't know the social network keeps a list of their interests and traits for ad targeting, says a study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.About half of Facebook users said they weren't comfortable that the company compiled this information.The world's largest social network came under fire in 2018 for a series of scandals over data privacy and security. The episodes caused concern about whether Facebook does enough to let users know what information it tracks and how it uses the data.Facebook knows your age, gender and location, along with what you post, the pages you like and the businesses you check into on the social network. All that information helps the company determine what ads to show its 2.3 billion users. Facebook users can view their "ad preferences" page to see what the social network thinks their interests are and why they're seeing a given ad. This list can … [Read more...] about Most users don’t know Facebook keeps a list of their interests, traits
Aleksandra Korolova has turned off Facebook’s access to her location in every way that she can. She has turned off location history in the Facebook app and told her iPhone that she “Never” wants the app to get her location. She doesn’t “check-in” to places and doesn’t list her current city on her profile. Despite all this, she constantly sees location-based ads on Facebook. She sees ads targeted at “people who live near Santa Monica” (where she lives) and at “people who live or were recently near Los Angeles” (where she works as an assistant professor at the University of Southern California). When she traveled to Glacier National Park, she saw an ad for activities in Montana, and when she went on a work trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts, she saw an ad for a ceramics school there. Facebook was continuing to track Korolova’s location for ads despite her signaling in all the ways that she could that she didn’t … [Read more...] about Turning Off Facebook Location Tracking Doesn’t Stop It From Tracking Your Location
Facebook just reported a massive data breach. Nearly 50 million accounts were affected by the breach, though it remains unclear whether the accounts were misused or if personal data was accessed. My account might be one of those affected. I know this, because when I went to check, Facebook had logged me off. At which point, my face fell onto my keyboard, drooling a bit from one side or the other. I’ve been dealing with bullshit from this company for years. I’m over it. It’s been almost 15 years that I’ve had a Facebook profile. I joined in college, like a lot of people my age, and at the time, Mark Zuckerberg liked to refer to the website as a directory. That’s how folks used it in the early days, too. If you joined Facebook in 2004, like I did, all you could really do on Thefacebook dot com was add some contact information and a profile pic. This was great at the time, because making a personal website still felt difficult for a lot of people and … [Read more...] about Okay, Facebook, You Win. I’m Done.