Business

Friday Shame: Facebook reminds you that your posts are also its ads

Facebook posters
Image Credit: Meghan Kelly/VentureBeat

This story is a part of our “Friday Shame” series, where we take a second look at the often bad news companies announce on Friday afternoons and other odd times. Check out other stories in the series here

Here’s something that Facebook wants to make absolutely clear: Your Facebook activity is also a big part of Facebook’s advertising activity.

On Friday  — when else? — Facebook updated its site governance blog to confirm the new privacy policies it introduced back in August. Specifically, the company reminded users that anything they do on Facebook — liking a business, checking in — can be use to advertise to other Facebook users.

“Ads work the same way and just as with all of the content on Facebook, we show you which of your friends have interacted with something to make it more relevant to you,” Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan write in a post posted at 12:05PM ET on Friday

While Facebook made a point to clarify the new privacy policy, it’s actually changing very little about it — despite all the backlash the changes caused when they were initially introduced.

1455068_10152002828569323_1636805181_nOne thing that did change, though, is Facebook’s language on minors using the site. Previously, the company said that, by letting their kids use Facebook, parents were implicitly agreeing to letting Facebook use their kids’ activity in advertisements.

That language is now gone, however, because Facebook said users found it “confusing.”

“This language was about getting a conversation started; we were not seeking and would not have gained any additional rights as a result of this addition,” Egan writes, defending the wording.

It’s telling that Facebook’s initial updates post, which was posted on a Thursday, resulted in over 27,000 comments, while the one posted yesterday got just 73.


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