when a new ad comes up on social media and you backtrack to what your phone must have spied on for it to "find" you

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multiple xps my pal S was visiting and she was telling me about a girl M we know who was intending to get pregnant. M wasn't planning to use a sperm bank, she was buying it from someone on Facebook (!) but we didn't look up anything while we sat having this conversation. So, yes it is possible that my pal S had looked it up and then due to location tracking etc I got nudged towards a sperm bank, but it's definitely disconcerting either way.

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 2 November 2022 17:04 (one year ago) link

xp now just need to work on those yellow teeth

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Wednesday, 2 November 2022 17:05 (one year ago) link

not exactly on topic but related: a couple years ago I was at the company Christmas party and the next morning on Facebook I got a notification asking if I wanted to tag myself in some photo. I look at the photo and it's a picture of a bunch of people I don't know - I recognize a couple from work but I never actually talked to them. I was somewhere in the background, hidden enough that if I'd looked at the photo I might not even recognized myself in it. and yet Facebook knew it was me, despite not having any mutual friends with the people in the picture. clearly FB figured out that this was a work party, or that people I knew were there, and decided to look up every face it saw in an attempt to tag people. I find that pretty unsettling.

frogbs, Wednesday, 2 November 2022 17:13 (one year ago) link

xp I did order the advertised kit, marketing works

mh, Wednesday, 2 November 2022 17:27 (one year ago) link

lol facebook undid almost all of the auto-tag recommendations (and I think maybe removed the "this is the guy" with a square around your face) and photo annotations in favor of just having the tag on the photo post some years ago because it was more than a little overzealous and creepy

mh, Wednesday, 2 November 2022 17:29 (one year ago) link

one time I was wearing a Leatherface mask, and a tag suggestion showed up for one of my friends. FB calling my friend ugly, cruel

stank viola (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 2 November 2022 17:30 (one year ago) link

i used to work in the world of campaign management s/w (help install and configure, support, test etc).

when i joined the company it was all about the speed of analysing and disecting massive datasets so you could send a leaflet/catalogue.
old fashioned real world junk mail.
then as things changed, it became about email campaigns.
you'd receive an email with an offer the s/w would then analyse the way you dealt with the email.
i.e. if you looked at it but didn't do anything, then it would do X,
whereas if you looked and it and clicked a link, then it would do Y,
and if you did nothing, it would then wait a configured length of time and then would do Z.
that kind of process.

now, even at that time i was never proud of the end result of the s/w, especially, when certain political organisations starting using the s/w to get to their specific target audience.

the actual underlying technology was quite impressive and cool as it used a bespoke database/engine solution making it a lot quicker than the big well known options.
and that was all good.
then one of the founders came up with a scenario :
you are on your laptop thinking of a weekend break.
you go to hotel website and have a look.
you then click away to another website, but you'd then get a txt or email nudging you to have another look at the hotel website with an offer.
(within seconds of you clicking away)
if you took up this offer via the website then as you entered the hotel, you would be sent a 'Hello Welcome to Hotel X' via email/txt, along with various special offers you could use while you stayed in the hotel.
and we got a working demo for such a scenario, albeit somewhat clunky.
and this was the moment i thought 'i aint liking this direction', and became very aware of the invasion and signed off as a company man (which also coincided with a massive change in my life as some of you may be aware of).

thankfully, the Windows legacy browser plug in that was required to power the front end was killed off by MS (silverlight), which meant the whole thing had to be recoded in HTML5 which effectively killed the company off, ending up with a lot of redundancies (approaching my 5th anniversary !) and ended up with the company offering a much slimmer s/w package these days.

no doubt the founders dream is now an easy click-n-go option via social media,
but at the time, it was an absolute arse to figure out for the developers and was always flaky as fuck, and yeah, even now such situations as described i still find very creepy and invasive.

mark e, Wednesday, 2 November 2022 18:08 (one year ago) link

in line with mh's excellent suggestions above, the EFF Privacy Badger extension is free and simple to install; on most websites I see zero targeted ads when it's active


for those who haven't already done so, it pays to dig around in the privacy and security settings for each of your social media accounts and turn off everything you can that helps the platform sell your data to advertisers

Brad C., Wednesday, 2 November 2022 22:59 (one year ago) link

I don’t mind getting ads for things I’m interested in. I’d rather get those than things I’m not interested in. But I agree the tech behind it is often creepy.

Position Position, Thursday, 3 November 2022 00:00 (one year ago) link

As people have pointed out upthread, it's bizarre how once you've bought something, the algorithm seems to think you want to buy the same thing all over again. For weeks after I bought a plane ticket to Thailand, I was getting ads for special deals on flights to Thailand. But I've already booked the flight, why would I need another one? They're literally targeting the one person who would have absolutely zero interest in booking a flight to Thailand!

Zelda Zonk, Thursday, 3 November 2022 00:08 (one year ago) link

Target sends me an email advertising cat food about an hour after I get home from buying cat food

mh, Thursday, 3 November 2022 00:41 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

oh no i lingered over a photo of a christmas sweater with the stranger things logo on it except it was "manger things" and a nativity scene and now i'm detecting a rapid influx of christmas ads being served to me. this post probably isn't helping me out here.

ꙮ (map), Thursday, 17 November 2022 18:35 (one year ago) link

maybe google "hajj 2023" "how to convert to judaism" and "diwali candles" ?

rob, Thursday, 17 November 2022 18:45 (one year ago) link

not a bad idea

ꙮ (map), Thursday, 17 November 2022 18:46 (one year ago) link

there was a web privacy app I read about years ago that instead of engaging in the arms race of protecting you from profilers, it silently did lots of random searches to make your data meaningless

rob, Thursday, 17 November 2022 18:49 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

It's still out there: https://github.com/essandess/isp-data-pollution

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 12 December 2022 07:39 (one year ago) link

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