Chances are, you’ve seen them yourself: Those ads on Facebook beckoning you onto that gay cruise, or to stay poolside in your Speedo at an all-gay hotel. Fine and dandy? Well, if you happen to be firmly ensconced in the closet, not so much.
That’s the micro-scandal plaguing one hapless Redditor, who is altogether mystified why the social networking site feels entitled to pepper his feed with altogether homosexual ads like this from Ski Bums (yow):
“Alright, so. I’m not out yet,” writes newyorkansun. “However, Facebook for the past couple months has been sending me targeted ads for gays, including this one that is in the picture. How does it know? Whenever I search for something I usually use the incognito mode on Chrome. I try to click on why are you showing me this ad, but the window closes automatically. Thanks for any insight.”
Readers have been quick to offer him their own two cents.
“If you are logged out,” says x_k_c_d, “Facebook still knows the account you were logged in with earlier.”
If you visit a website in incognito mode that has Facebook buttons on it, Facebook gets your IP and because it also knows the IP you were or are logged in with, it can connect the information. I would recommend using uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger to stop this sort of snooping.
alamborn19 doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal.
“When i was closeted,” he writes, “I’d get them too.”
No one would use my phone or iPad especially on Facebook, so it’s not like it’ll be seen and just lie and easily explain it away if they are seen. TDRL: Don’t worry about it — they’re just ads. No one will question them and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
“Facebook does the equivalent of digital stalking,” says Grem-Zealot, which is pithy enough.
Of course, you can rest assured Facebook is privy to, how shall we say, the heady art films you gravitate towards on those intimate nights spent alone with your Internet connection. Perhaps that’s how it knows what kinds of ads you like?
Have you had any experiences with Facebook’s invasive sponsored ads? Sound off in the comments below.