Just like our friend here from Twitter, you might be convinced Facebook is listening in on your conversations.
Image courtesy of The Sun.
But you’re about as far from the truth as palm reading.
Facebook has a notorious record for invading users’ privacy and breaching data laws globally. But this is not an example of that. And to prove it, we’ve got 3 strong nails to drive into the coffin of this myth.
This kid is all too easily driving a nail into the coffin of this theory.
When you’re creating ads on Facebook, the scope to target audiences is seemingly endless. You can use custom audiences, create lookalike audiences, and use demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioural factors in your targeting.
If you can target the exact people you feel will convert into customers, why would you bother listening for keywords in conversations?
If two people had a conversation about Game of Thrones, would Foxtel use that as an indicator to target them with ads for their Game of Thrones package?
That conversation could just as easily have been about how much they hate the show and hate the hype. The key to targeting is understanding the audience’s intent, and if Facebook was listening for keywords, they would have almost no way of understanding the intent.
It’s not looking good for the conspiracy theorists.
Aside from our palm-reading friend (and those like them with similar conspiracy theories), there’s just no evidence. Countless people have tried and failed to prove Facebook is secretly listening to conversations.
This should just about seal it.
Sure, you might have over 800 followers on Instagram. You might have more connections on LinkedIn than you’ve had hot dinners. But sadly, you’re just not worth the algorithm, the technology, and the risk of breaching data security laws.
Facebook has more pressing matters than listening into people’s conversations about Bachelor in Paradise. There are better ways to inform advertisers than generic, keyword-triggered conversations. And with no evidence ever produced that can prove they have listened into your conversations, hopefully we can put this relentless debate to bed.
If you’re looking for a slightly more plausible theory as to how Facebook is monitoring its audiences in weird and suspicious ways, read more on how they might be using menstrual cycles to inform ad targeting.