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Facebook’s “Social Ads” Mess With Your Head

So I kept seeing Rex Hammock’s picture associated with an ad in the right column of Facebook. I couldn’t make sense out of it until I finally stumbled upon Social Ads in my Facebook privacy settings. Going to Settings > Privacy Settings > News Feed and Wall > Social Ads will take you to the Social Ads privacy settings. By default this is set to Only my friends. If you don’t want to have your image used to sell someone else’s services and goods, you should choose No one and save your settings.

So what does Facebook have to say about this service? They explain it this way:

Facebook occasionally pairs advertisements with relevant social actions from a user’s friends to create Social Ads. Social Ads make advertisements more interesting and more tailored to you and your friends. These respect all privacy rules. You may opt out of appearing in your friends’ Social Ads below.

Opt out I will. That should keep Facebook from whoring out my picture to my friends to sell other people’s stuff — at least for the time being.

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