Facebook’s New Way Of Using You As Free Advertising (& How To Stop It) [News]

facebook logo 300x300   Facebooks New Way Of Using You As Free Advertising (& How To Stop It) [News]Unwitting Facebook users may soon find themselves starring in adverts for free by simply using the service. The new feature known as ‘sponsored stories’ will recommend products and services to your friends based on your tastes and whether your profile settings allow it.

Actions such as checking into places, clicking “Like” on a page, application interactions and posting on Facebook pages can be then used as marketing ammo, sending targeted recommendations to your friends featuring your name and profile picture. Users who are featured in the adverts won’t be paid a penny.

This new way for advertisers to target their audience on a startlingly personal level quietly launched in January, and (in a move that’s angered many) each Facebook user’s account, by default, allows this to happen. Despite many voicing their concerns, Facebook insists that this new breed of social advertising falls in line with its current privacy policy.

fb ads apps   Facebooks New Way Of Using You As Free Advertising (& How To Stop It) [News]

For those of you seething in your office chairs, there’s a simple way to disallow Facebook from using your personal data in these new ‘sponsored stories’ from your Account Settings:

Whilst logged into Facebook, click Account then Account Settings. On the far right of the row of tabs choose Facebook Adverts, which will take you to a page where you can change Allow adverts on platform pages to show my information to and Show my social actions in Facebook Adverts to No one.

fb ads actions   Facebooks New Way Of Using You As Free Advertising (& How To Stop It) [News]

What do you think about Facebook’s new adverts? Have you changed your account settings? Spread the word and have your say in the comments below.

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24 Comments -

0 votes

Arieswarlock

I don’t see anything wrong about if only your friends can see it. It’s of minimal importance.

0 votes

Kevin Beckford

Actually no, it’s quite important. Try to hire models to do an ad. It’s pricey. It would be important if you stole pictures of my kids to save bucks. Why are things which are wrong for you, ok for corporations.

Or, are you actually a shill? It’s going around.

0 votes

Tim Brookes

I agree with Kevin. If my personal tastes, information and more importantly likeness (i.e. photo) is being used to push products to my friends I’d at least like a little cut of the profits.

I’m a photographer and would be outraged if someone used my picture without paying (or at least asking first) – Facebook is using you as a poster child and isn’t paying OR asking first.

0 votes

Larry_m7

That Facebook added this “feature” is one thing. If it turns your crank, use it.

It is quite another thing that the default setting is “Only my friends” rather than the only other setting, “No one”. Making the default the more permissive settings, rather than the most restrictive, is presumptive and degrades trust if nothing else. That this setting is under Account Settings rather than Privacy Settings also raises some questions. Were they hoping that people would not notice it?

I have a facebook account that I only use to get into sites that insist that I have a facebook account, or that insist that I “like” something in order to participate in a contest, such as the give aways by MUO (shame on you). In such a case, my “liking” something has absolutely no value and is not my opinion of anything beyond my desire to possibly participate in some contest. I refuse to let such a site (even MUO) gain any benefit from my liking it and that account is locked down tight so I could not be associated to any site through facebook. Facebook adding such a feature and defaulting it to a permissible setting completely screws up my desires for that account and would lower my opinion of facebook except that my opinion can’t get much lower.

0 votes

Gary Stephen Callaghan

I like the fact that Facebook activated this option but with it’s default set to no-one. It’s better than their usual sneaky approach.

0 votes

mike five

I just checked mine. The default was not “no one”.

0 votes

Repeters57

HOT NEWS FLASH!
The default is NOT set to “no-one”. My settings were set to everyone until I edited “Friends”, “account settings”, and “privacy” settings to include “Friends Only”. It is in keeping with Facebook’s usual, underhanded, corporate sneaky approach.

0 votes

Anonymous

It actually won’t let me change it to “no one”. Every time i choose it and save changes it just refreshed with it reset back to “Only my friends”. The platform pages one has long since been changed to “no one”.

0 votes

SeekGeek

This resonates so closely with a quote I heard: “If you’re not paying for it? you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold”. There is no free lunch

0 votes

SeekGeek

This resonates so closely with a quote I heard: “If you’re not paying for it you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold”. There is no free lunch

0 votes

SeekGeek

This resonates so closely to a quote I recently heard: “If you’re not paying for it you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold”. There isno free lunch

0 votes

rohit

This is just people pointing their fingers at the man for no reason. How many people who turned off that option are currently wearing some designer brand shirt with the brands logo smacked right on it. Polo, nike any designer brand does the samething, they all are using you as their “poster child” as the article claims. But when its on the internet or more likely when its actually brought to their attention before thinking of it on their own, that’s when people get mad. If you don’t want anybody using you for advertising then honstly go liv under a rock…o wait geico might use you too then.

0 votes

Tim Brookes

At least when people choose to buy and wear a product they are willingly playing along, even if that is the case!

0 votes

DesertDude

Not exactly the same thing. When I wear Armani jeans or Prada shirt, the logo is a status that give ME benefit so people know I’m not wearing stuff from Walmart. It may be vain or considered arrogant or whatever by some, but it still has some intrinsic benefit to me whereas the FB thing has no benefit. Also, when I pay $600 for a pair of Armani jeans rather than $13 at Costco, I am the one making that choice.

0 votes

Mike Five

There is one huge difference between my buying and wearing something and somebody making a backhanded claim that I endorse a product. Do you work for Facebook?

0 votes

rohit

This in reply to everyone who replied to my post.

lol No, I don’t work for facebook(though I have in the past worked for online marketing/social media consulting firms, so call me a little biased). But let me ask you this: When you click the like button on a page, are you not choosing to do so? Nobody forced you to click on it. So how would it be a backhanded claim, when in fact you do like something? It’s like walking down the street and they see you wearing your armani clothing. Except in this case the street is Facebook.

Facebook is like a small town, all of your friends are your own personal neighborhood, it thrives on activity/gossip/news and all of that. Everything that you do on Facebook gets posted on your page and other’s news feeds, from commenting a friend’s photo to liking bands/businesses etc etc. Yes I can see why you may call this sneaky. But to me, this is great for small businesses who wouldn’t get the same kind of exposure otherwise. Now word of mouth exposure is just online. It’s just technology progressing and learning how to take advantage of it, sure its at the mercy of the other people.

Though I do think Facebook kind of did this a little to quietly, and that’s why people are angry. They could have turned this into great PR for themselves.

0 votes

Cragoscolaidhe

this report is totally false.. read what facebook says & its different to what these say!..
the advert only shows your name & if you like the page.. it doesnt give your profile pic.. yous should read from the first hand source rather than a second hand sorce if yous wanna make an informed decision about it..

0 votes

Scott

I think that if Facebook wants to use us to advertise then we should get a cut. It seems like that would be a smart move because if people were making money off of it, I would think that more people would allow it. And, if more people allow it, it would work better for the advertiser. Everyone could make some money.

0 votes

B-run

Sounds like this is “in line with its current privacy policy” which seems to be more about full disclosure of your information.

0 votes

Rvdkoi

I’m very glad you brought this gross breach of privacy by Facebook to my attention. Sneaky bastards.

0 votes

Alex

thank you makeuseof for keeping us updated about all the stupid stuff facebook thinks can do with our accounts. kudos!

0 votes

Norbert

I love Facebook. In fact, but for Facebook I’d have lost contact with many acquaintances over the years, so I think the site is doing a genuine social service. But policies like this make me reconsider. Just now I have changed all my settings to the most restrictive possible.
A lot of people today, and certainly Facebook’s ownership, fail to understand the difference between terms like “legal,” and “right”/”ethical”/”moral” when making monumental decisions like this. OK …. FB insists it doesn’t violate their privacy policy. But FB seems to admit implicitly that some people aren’t going to like it, so they conveniently fail to tell users that they may be starring in advertisements. Hey, Facebook – YOU SHOULD NOT NEED TO BE TOLD THAT THIS IS SNEAKY AND MAYBE WRONG, REGARDLESS OF ITS LEGALITY!!
Is this really so hard to understand? I’ll spell it out in black and white: legal does not equal moral. To make myself absolutely clear what I mean, for “moral” one could substitute “ethical” or “right” or whatever such word makes the most sense. The point is that there is a sense of right and wrong that is not formally contained in any civil or religious or philosophical code, which is generally taken for granted. In fact, it is the kind of thing that is never really consciously considered until it is violated.
In other words, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Facebook people who instituted this little policy knew darn good and well that they would upset some people’s sense of privacy. Then they examined their policy at length and decided that it wasn’t specifically illegal. How could it be – this is a very new thing? Of course it was not yet covered in a policy!
Shame on you, Facebook. I’m still considering taking my account off – based solely on this latest little intrusion.

0 votes

Norbert

I love Facebook. In fact, but for Facebook I’d have lost contact with many acquaintances over the years, so I think the site is doing a genuine social service. But policies like this make me reconsider. Just now I have changed all my settings to the most restrictive possible.
A lot of people today, and certainly Facebook’s ownership, fail to understand the difference between terms like “legal,” and “right”/”ethical”/”moral” when making monumental decisions like this. OK …. FB insists it doesn’t violate their privacy policy. But FB seems to admit implicitly that some people aren’t going to like it, so they conveniently fail to tell users that they may be starring in advertisements. Hey, Facebook – YOU SHOULD NOT NEED TO BE TOLD THAT THIS IS SNEAKY AND MAYBE WRONG, REGARDLESS OF ITS LEGALITY!!
Is this really so hard to understand? I’ll spell it out in black and white: legal does not equal moral. To make myself absolutely clear what I mean, for “moral” one could substitute “ethical” or “right” or whatever such word makes the most sense. The point is that there is a sense of right and wrong that is not formally contained in any civil or religious or philosophical code, which is generally taken for granted. In fact, it is the kind of thing that is never really consciously considered until it is violated.
In other words, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Facebook people who instituted this little policy knew darn good and well that they would upset some people’s sense of privacy. Then they examined their policy at length and decided that it wasn’t specifically illegal. How could it be – this is a very new thing? Of course it was not yet covered in a policy!
Shame on you, Facebook. I’m still considering taking my account off – based solely on this latest little intrusion.

0 votes

Anonymous

It seems to me that FB is making more and more decisions which let others, namely corporations and businesses, to use your information to sell things. Whether it’s directly to you or to other people doesn’t matter. We live in a consumerist culture and we need to make sure that it doesn’t get any worse with more hacking of people’s privacy.