Facebook Thinks I'm a Black Democrat Who's Into Toes and Rawhide

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Google and Facebook are full of ads, but the ones you're seeing are not just random. In fact, the companies strive to build a personal profile of who you are. They want to deliver ads that are relevant and interesting to you. The algorithm that goes into building your ad profile is very complicated, but you can maintain some control by managing your own profile for both Google and Facebook.

Google and Facebook take note of which sites you visit, what type of products you look at, and of course, which ads you click on. However, these sites do not share personally identifiable information with advertisers. For advertisers, you are just some anonymous user number that happens to match their demographic profile. It is nothing that hasn’t been done before with marketing since (quite literally) the creation of marketing. There is a demographic type that reads certain magazines, watches certain TV shows, and lives in certain parts of a city. It is nothing new.

Managing your ad profile can actually be beneficial to you so advertisers will stop wasting your time with annoying, uninteresting ads that clutter up websites. For Facebook and Google, it will also help those platforms to better deliver content (even content beyond ads) to you.

Next page: How to find your ad profile and make changes if needed.