I've recently signed up for Facebook to use Wit.ai, and have gone through account settings to lock down the account as much as possible. It took me about an hour to set everything to private in this new account, and I'm still not sure what would happen if I start posting on their platform.
The settings page is not the only place that needs to be checked if you mind your privacy, there will be a myriad of configuration options and barely discoverable controls that appear in different places on your profile, and remain hidden until you submit further content.
Needless to say after that they declined to reinstate my account - without any recourse or right of reply - due to community policy violations. Given that my only contribution was managing ads - and my wife’s account remains unsuspended despite managing the same ads - I’m left drawing conclusions from my own anecdata that they very much don’t like having overly privacy focused accounts.
Though mine was probably locked solely because of the way I've metodically checked out every configuration option, and used Firefox with fingerprint protection enabled.
This whole ordeal made me realize that Facebook is sitting on personal data from possibly millions of profiles that are banned. I've read several reports about people logging in years after the account got suspended, and their personal data is still downloadable, but they are not offered further control of the data, such as deletion, which is illegal in the EU.
FB’s website claims the feature is “only available in some countries and on some devices,” but it’s BS, it’s actually an easy opt-in for employees.
It shows that FB understands the need for privacy, but only if you’ll help them spy on others.
Purposely keeping that feature exclusive to employees shows that Facebook understands the desire for privacy, but only for those working for them.
But the important part is that I do it willingly. I'm glad they were forced to ask -- not everyone is ok with that kind of tracking, and that's the whole point. I'm totally with Apple on this one. Give people choice.
I made my choice, and everyone else should get to make theirs too.
The purpose of ads is to inform people of things they wouldn't otherwise know about. In that regard, I appreciate good ads that tell me about things I would want to know about and didn't already.
For example, some of the ads I get are for live shows (back in the before times). These are live shows that I enjoy going to, but would never have known about, because I don't know where to look for them. Having it pushed at me helps me.
That's cute. I've never seen an ad for a wikipedia page though.
The real purpose of ads is to convince people to buy things that they otherwise might not have, so that companies can make a profit.
Take the https://www.theguardian.com/. I've got adverts for:
- an electric toothbrush. I already have one. But surely the new model is better!11!
- London apartments. I live 170 miles away and have no desire ever to live in London. But maybe I should because London is so amazing!11!!
- Remitly ("send money to India online"). I do not know anyone in India and have no need to send money there.
- "70% off" "Store Clothing", whatever the hell that is. I have plenty of clothes. But maybe I need more and to be more fashionable!11!!
But it shows that access to state-of-the-art targeting isn't helping at all. So right now it's clearly not worth a privacy tradeoff.
Also, ads don't have to work for everyone. If they work for some folks, it's already profitable for the platforms. And they do work.
“Are these ads effective? Should we spend more money on them?” Without conversion data the answer is one big shrug emoji.
I don’t believe most companies in the tech industry care about tracking/fingerprinting users for the sake of collecting & reselling their data. First hand experience, I’m just not ever seeing that. They just want to know if their ads are working or not.
In particular, things they otherwise might not have and don't need enough to look for actively on their own.
It's just less profitable.
No need to have over a dozen of trackers on that page so that advertisers create a profile of you.
My local Hearst paper operates a templates website full of crap trackers and ads that are brokered at a central point. They aren’t selling the inventory with local sales managers etc. To keep costs down, everything is aggregated.
And then also the notion that ALL data gathered intrude privacy. And somehow anyone on the Internet should be anonymous, may be that is not even the right word, may be invisible could be used to better describe it.
Privacy means people know what they're signing up for, in plain language, and repeatedly.”
There should be a middle ground somewhere. Not all Ads are bad. I love useful Ads, but I hate bad ads, whether that is placement or the actual ads itself. And I know people gets to discover new Games, Clothes, Shows, or other product they like through these ads.
It cant be an all or nothing world. Which the Internet in general likes to encourage, and there is no middle ground. We need to start looking at Ads as part of UX, and not just money / target optimising tools.
Let's name it the Thiel paradox. Maybe then this flavor of cognitive dissonance is better captured and told further.
I think this is great. By putting tracking in the control of the user, the user can decide if they want shitty, generic ads or targeted relevant ads. What’s missing now is a built in ad blocker for iOS.
As it is the closest I get is ads for something I looked at 20 days ago and decided not to buy.
Recently, I registered a new account, and after a grace period without ads, I was surprised by just how drenched it has become in advertising. I used it to follow professional athletes. First of, many of the organic posts are themselves sponsored advertising, then the athletes share brand posts from their sponsors, and then between every story you get an actual ad.
Of course, with more personal connections the trade of might be different, but for my use case described above Instagram seemed unsustainable.
Another interpretation is, professional athletes don't really enrich your life at all. You have as big a problem with celebrity as you do with a piece of software.
* Announcements - Some of the sports I follow don't have a "regular season" like e.g. Basketball or American Football, they are organised more like boxing where an athlete may compete for one federation or another, and the events don't follow a pre-determined schedule: so you need to keep up with the news if you want to be able to watch them at all.
* Instructionals - athletes often will publish instructional videos and when that happens they advertise them on their channels. Those are usually an order of magnitude more in-depth than anything you can find for free (e.g. Youtube) - I was never very athletic but I'm finally trying to get better so those are very helpful for me. (Edit: Of course this is a form of advertising but I'm very disciplined and avoid overspending at all costs, I buy instructionals once in a blue moon).
My experience seems to be that I see a whole bunch of fresh updates from friends, and then ads. If I'm looking when there are few updates, it's mostly ads. If I see mostly ads I know that I should put the phone down and come back in a few hours. :)
I'm on the iOS beta so that might have something to do with it.
Interestingly, that's precisely the reason I hate targeted ads. They just make me buy more things I didn't otherwise need.
I see your main point though, it's nice to give the choice.
We don't need to live inside of a panopticon in order to figure what shows are playing in town, what new items are down at the shops. Tell me what city you live in; I can help you find stuff around town at no cost and I don't even have to spy on you.
This is part of the reason why so many things are ad-supported to begin with -- even if someone is willing to pay $0.03 to read a random article, there's no effective way to collect that.
Rather, jedberg has already found way more suppliers than he needs, all willing to supply him ads at $0.00, which makes that the equilibrium price.
Analogously, I would value oxygen basically infinitely high because I don't want to die. However, I would never pay for it because I can easily get it for free, and would laugh at anyone who tried to charge me for permission to breathe.
I think it's difficult in general for people to put a price on most of the things they get for free, just because they're used to getting them for free, and build their price intuitions on being able to get them for free.
You keep saying that, but that is plainly a positive spin on the purpose and not completely truthful.
If that were the purpose, why are there adverts for e.g. milk?
I don't see how this squares with things like blatant scare mongering smearing in political ads, and things like cowboys riding a truck up Mt. Everest to crack open a beer.
Ads can be there just to associate emotional moods and undertones with a product or person, etc., and aren't only about surfacing unknown products.
Is there something wrong with that?
I've screenshottet it and it might very well become my second actual gdpr complaint.
My first was a few days ago when "HP smart" demanded with no workaround that I hand over my email address to print on my own old printer.
Facebook didn't make a compelling argument, only that they felt obligated to attempt to use all available remedies to retain their advertisers and show their shareholders that they tried. It is a ridiculous use of public resources, but the FTC didn't give any indication that is was a valid complaint. Facebook didn't make an argument, only an observation that the feature would hurt their revenue. Kind of like "by the way it would be nice if you found some impropriety in how they rolled this out, we aren't aware of one, but would be adversely affected whether its all above board or not, okay thats all we got moving on".
Exactly. So when Apple gives users choice, and users are fine with it, this won't impact Facebook at all.
Facebook on the other hand manages to get my attention with products that matches my interests and budget (software products, photography products etc. I even ended up buying a safety razor that I am very happy with and wouldn't have though about without seeing that ad.)
The irony is that Google should know quite a bit more about me than Facebook does but have been too busy showing me annoying or even insulting ads during the same time.
The title is a bit click-baitey.