Computer says whoa

Closeted guy baffled by super-gay ads he receives on Facebook

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Chances are, you’ve seen them yourself: Those ads on Facebook beckoning you onto that gay cruise, or to stay poolside in your Speedo at an all-gay hotel. Fine and dandy? Well, if you happen to be firmly ensconced in the closet, not so much.

That’s the micro-scandal plaguing one hapless Redditor, who is altogether mystified why the social networking site feels entitled to pepper his feed with altogether homosexual ads like this from Ski Bums (yow):

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“Alright, so. I’m not out yet,” writes newyorkansun. “However, Facebook for the past couple months has been sending me targeted ads for gays, including this one that is in the picture. How does it know? Whenever I search for something I usually use the incognito mode on Chrome. I try to click on why are you showing me this ad, but the window closes automatically. Thanks for any insight.”

Readers have been quick to offer him their own two cents.

“If you are logged out,” says x_k_c_d, “Facebook still knows the account you were logged in with earlier.”

If you visit a website in incognito mode that has Facebook buttons on it, Facebook gets your IP and because it also knows the IP you were or are logged in with, it can connect the information. I would recommend using uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger to stop this sort of snooping.

alamborn19 doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal.

“When i was closeted,” he writes, “I’d get them too.”

No one would use my phone or iPad especially on Facebook, so it’s not like it’ll be seen and just lie and easily explain it away if they are seen. TDRL: Don’t worry about it — they’re just ads. No one will question them and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

“Facebook does the equivalent of digital stalking,” says Grem-Zealot, which is pithy enough.

Of course, you can rest assured Facebook is privy to, how shall we say, the heady art films you gravitate towards on those intimate nights spent alone with your Internet connection. Perhaps that’s how it knows what kinds of ads you like?

Have you had any experiences with Facebook’s invasive sponsored ads? Sound off in the comments below. 

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13 Comments

  • Juanjo

    Closet case apparently is unclear on social networks like Facebook, search engines like Google and the other websites he cruises through. They all mine data and do so constantly. That data is crunched and either used in their own system of focused adverts or sold to others who are doing the same. If he is using some sort of anonymous program to cruise his favorite gay porn etc it may be that it is not all it is claimed to be. It is annoying I agree but then again you get what you pay for.

  • Jack Meoff

    This is why I don’t have Facebook. It got to messy and keeping it up to date just wasn’t worth it plus people use it to stalk you.

  • NateOcean

    Just one more item in the long list of nefarious crap pulled by Facebook.
    Another reason to delete Facebook.

  • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

    Weirdest one I keep getting is Muslim dating with pictures of bitches in headscarves. I mean how?????

  • trickster3737

    1) It is not just facebook following you about. Pretty much every site you visit records your comings and goings, Amazon, CNN, FoxNews, Advocate, Queerty, all of it. It is safer to assume you are being tracked than assume you are not.
    2) Snowden told the WORLD about this. It should not be news. It is called meta data and can hold a lot of info. Very specific information not only what sites you visit, but how long, what you view, topics you read (they’re called tags and even this site has them).
    3) Basically, corporations own your internet history, incognito does not hide anything, only clears history out on your local machine.
    4) Your internet service providers has a history of every site you have ever visited, every transaction.

    What can you do? Not a whole hell of a lot.

    Adblocker, Badger, pseudonymous accounts(built with NO actual information about you), IP spoofers, VPN, Tor Browser, Virtual Machines, check for HTTPS: its the green padlock by the URL.

    Learn some techniques to clear your trail.

    Or, give up and accept that your information is no longer under your control.

  • Daniel-Reader

    LOL Prince, under those scarves are a whole lot of crazy happening. Imagine being born and told you have to wear this piece of fabric made of goat-hair or whatever over your head all the time to appease an imaginary desert creature. I guess it could be stranger – could have to haul a goat on your head your whole life, or bow to a meteorite five times a day. It’s not hard to believe humans thought the world was once flat.

  • crowebobby

    @Daniel-Reader: But it is hard to believe there are still people who sincerely believe the world is flat and go on YouTube with thousands of words full of scientific terminology and mathematical formulas to prove their claims, which manages to convince others. These people are obviously exceptionally intelligent but bat-shit crazy . . . like a lot of Trump supporters.

  • BigJohnSF

    My weird online experience in this category is LinkedIn – it suggests “people I might know” that include guys I have only chatted with on Scruff. I don’t know their real names (well, now I do) but somehow LinkedIn finds them and thinks I might want to connect with them. (well, not professionally I don’t)

  • SteveDenver

    Chances are his friends, family and fellow priests know just as much as Facebook and are simply honoring his reluctance to come out… while they roll eyes at his evasive comments and actions.

  • SnorlaxationKH

    little by little, our ‘private’ lives are becoming less private.

  • mujerado

    Unless we’re hyper-vigilant and fanatic about our cover-up, hiding in the closet doesn’t fool as many people as we think it does. People know. Better for everyone just to be honest. Trying to hide doesn’t hurt only oneself, but everyone else too.

  • cmptrwiz

    Because that same closeted gay guy is going to gay sites or watching gay porn on those same computers… its called ‘Targeted Advertising’. Cookies are sometimes the worst tattle-tales!

    Wake up please!

  • salumbre

    @trickster3737: “Or, give up and accept that your information is no longer under your control.”

    Basically that. The only (almost) surefire way to have true privacy nowadays is to stay off the grid. And that also meant not having any sort of contact with Facebook f(r)iends.

    I keep the posting of my personal stuff on Facebook to a bare minimum, and yet friends, family and acquaintances post a gazillion pics and posts of the stuff we have done together. Oh well.

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