Deceptive Facebook Ads

I am the new face of Windows 10 (and probably so are you).

It looks like Facebook is using people’s photos in connection with ads that make it look like a user somehow endorses or has something to do with the ad. Below the ad, it had another user (name removed) who apparently uses the Windows 10 Facebook app (I do not). That’s information leakage for the other user, who probably never intentionally consented to letting people know what OS or type of application they’re using.

Be very wary of these ads, they in no way are any more trustworthy than any other ad, and by their very nature are deceptive.

It’s one interesting use of your personal information that has been explicitly talked about for ages in terms of how their privacy docs can indeed be used against you. Consider this the first wave of contextually deceptive ads. More to come!

How does this impact someone on their smart phone? Beyond becoming a spokesperson for a brand without your knowledge, the reduced screen real-estate and lack of tools like link previewing by hovering over the link makes it even easier to fall for predatory advertising. Be careful out there!

Published by

Robert Hansen

Robert is an executive with a smart phone. Trying to tackle the big meaty problem of mobility, in the modern world where content and creativity are requirements of a job well done.

4 thoughts on “Deceptive Facebook Ads”

  1. Why, when they photo is a false representation of its subject’s endorsement do you believe that the person named below is really a user? Do you know they deliberately deceive but believe they won’t outright lie?

  2. Facebook is upfront about this and gives its users the ability to stop being used in ads. Here’s how you can stop being used in Facebook’s ads.

    From the desktop site, click the triangle at the upper right, then “settings” in the dropdown menu, click “ads” in the menu in the left column, then “edit” to the right of “Ads with my social actions.” Finally, select “No one” for who gets to see ads based on your social activity.

  3. Thanks Brent. Unfortunately those were already correctly set for me. So apparently it doesn’t always work. Also as a side note it’s silly to have to use the desktop app to protect your privacy (especially given the nature of this site in particular).

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