Have you ever been looking at something on Facebook – say, pictures of romantic spots in Italy, or Italian food – only to return to your social media feed to find adverts of cheap Ryanair flights to Bari and pictures of leaning towers all over the place?
People have long known that Facebook collects their personal information to sell to advertisers, and as uncomfortable as it made everyone, it wasn’t worth keeping your private information private if you were going to have FOMO forever and miss out on all the selfies.
However, Facebook’s data-gathering powers have since gotten better, and the 2016 US Presidential Election was a case in point.
That election, people saw firsthand that Facebook had developed the capability of pigeonholing people into distinct political categories – and then feeding them articles and stories that were more suited to their tastes and leanings based on that pigeonholing.
Facebook has become so brazen about it that they have recently updated their ‘ads preferences’ page, allowing you to finally see what Facebook thinks about you.
Maltese people who go to this page will immediately find out whether they are considered a Labour supporter or a Nationalist supporter by Facebook. Since Facebook is using its own algorithms to deduce your political leanings, it could technically be wrong in how it places you – but it probably isn’t.
How to access your personal Facebook ad preference information
- Login to and go to facebook.com/ads/preferences on a browser.
- In the ‘ad preferences’ page, under the ‘Interests’ heading, click the ‘Lifestyle and Culture’ tab.
- See what Facebook has understood about you.
This selection of interests should, in a very, very general way, sum up your life. If you feel like any of these interests are totally off-topic, you can hover over the box and click the ‘X’ to remove it.
Check out what Facebook says about your political leaning, and let us know using the poll below whether Facebook got it right or not.