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Just Who Does Facebook Think You Are?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Security Help, Social Networking, Using The Internet

Every wonder why certain ads pop up in your Facebook feed over and over again? Or why Facebook suggest certain sites to you or promotes certain news stories?

They use a complex algorithm to determine what suits your needs. The ads you see in the feed are not necessarily anything like what your friends see. Here’s how you can find out what Facebook thinks you’re interested in seeing.

First, click here to go to Facebook ad preferences. This page will open.


Scroll down to Interests. 


Here you’ll find categories like News and entertainment, Business, and People. Click More and you’ll get even more categories.


Hover over the icon of something displayed in Interests, and you’ll see why  it was selected for you.  Sometimes, it’s because something is similar to other things you like.


Other times it’s because you like a particular page.


Or perhaps you clicked on an ad.


Hover at the center of the icon and you get the option to click to see what types of ads Facebook is showing you based on this interest.


Hover in the right corner of the icon and you can pull up an X. This allows you to remove that interest.


Beneath Interests, you’ll find Advertisers. You can see which advertisers (if any) have your contact information and also a list of advertisers whose website or app you’ve used.


Hover over the X in the right corner of an icon to get the option hide ads from that advertiser in your feed.


Facebook also makes ad decisions based on your age and location. You can go to the top right of the page to check your profile to see what type of information you have there. Just click the Edit button.

You can check out your profile to see that your work, school, and other information is correct. If for example, Facebook thinks you live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire instead of Portsmouth, Ohio, you could see ads for events and businesses that have nothing to do with you.

None of these changes will completely remove ads from your timeline. After all, Facebook does have to find a way to offer you this free service. But you can avoid things that really annoy you and hopefully make sure that you’ll see information about events and businesses that could actually interest you.

~ Cynthia


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