Facebook Thinks it Knows Who You're Voting For


Ever wonder how Facebook manages to serve up such spot-on advertising?

The social network recently revamped its Ad Preferences page, making it easier for folks to identify the various boxes into which Facebook places us. And one of the things it thinks it can pinpoint? Your political affiliation.

To find out where Facebook thinks you land on the political spectrum, navigate to the "Lifestyle and culture" tab on facebook.com/ads/preferences, then look for "US politics" and the parenthetical ideology (liberal, conservative, communist).

"We use information from a few different sources to figure out which ads might be relevant and useful to you," the site said. "Things such as your Facebook profile information, activity on Facebook, and interactions with businesses can all influence the ads you see."

It's not all Trump versus Clinton, though. It accurately tells me, for instance, that I like Arrested Development, The West Wing, Otis Redding, journalism, New York City, and the Boston Red Sox. And that I own an iPhone 6, primarily use the Google Chrome browser, and live away from my family.

There are, of course, a few erroneous categories—sorry, Facebook, but orangutans aren't really a hobby of mine—which probably slipped in when you "liked" a friend's post or accidentally clicked on a video. But they're easy to remove: Just hover your mouse over the offending square and tap the "X" in the upper-right corner.

"We want to help you understand our ads and the controls you have across your ad experience on Facebook, Instagram, and other places where you might see Facebook ads," the site said. "The ads you see are influenced by a variety of factors, the most basic of which is demographic information, such as age, gender, and location, from your profile and activity," it continued. "We take great care to keep your information secure."

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