Friday, October 28, 2011

Lead Us Not Into Temptation Facebook

Since Facebook has begun running many ads on users pages and not just the little ones along the side, but in the newsfeed and up on the top, I have been getting seriously concerned.  Routinely I get ads with barely clothed women on them.  They're falling out of their bikinis, tugging off their bottoms. Today I saw one that apparently involved video.  I surely am not clicking on it to find out.

Here are two examples:
They are problematic on several fronts for me.  One, if I am at home and check my Facebook messages or see if something is going on, I do not really want to have to explain to my eight-year old why those are on there.  We have one family computer that sits in a common room.  This is not really something I feel that I should have to explain to a young boy. 

Two, the first ad looks as if it comes from Facebook itself.  I have said numerous times that I am surprised that Facebook allows it layout to be so blatantly copied. If they are licensing the layout to this ad company, shame on them.  It is also clear that the second is trying to weakly copy youTube's layout. 

Three, I cannot opt out or report these ads the way I can opt out of those little side ads.  There is no little "x" that appears when I roll over these ads.

Finally, I know of nothing that I have done to warrant seeing such ads on my page.  I know that Facebook targets specific activity, but I cannot determine what is this trigger.  One friend wondered if it is simply because I am a male in a city with a university. My internet monitoring program (X3Watch -- made by XXXChurch) keeps listing my Facebook page as a questionable site.  I wonder if it is because these ads are somehow linked there. 

These ads are bordering on porn.  I am fairly certain, although I  have not verified it, that the video one, is a link to porn not just meeting young women.  I will not be surprised if someday Facebook begins targeting porn ads to particular users.  The more we live in a filter bubble, the more likely this becomes.

I realize that many could say, "Well quit using Facebook. Just turn it off."  It is not so easy.  Facebook has become an important communication tool in my ministry.  I am not choosing to view these, nor is it just random.  Somehow Facebook is targeting these to me for whatever reason.  If others want them, that is their problem.  I do not need Facebook throwing them out there to invade my page and my home.

Lead us not into temptation Facebook.... lead us not into temptation.

1 comment:

Noah said...

Hi Brian,
That is an odd assortment of adverts. I normally get one's that are for schools or games. I assume that the formula Facebook uses is based on your profile information and what advertisers pay for. My guess is that "dating" services pay for any male (married or not). So that probably is simply enough to get those throw at you. I've switched to the Timeline format for FB. For me there is an option to hide individual advertisements. I think this allows FB to get more specific in what it offers. That might be the best option for you.