Time for something a little bit controversial…Is Facebook listening in on conversations to better target news feed stories and ads? Before you continue reading this, it must be stated that this is an opinion piece and not statement of fact.
A few days ago when browsing through Facebook I was caught a bit off guard by some of the advertisements that were being displayed to me on my cellphone. I was not concerned by the adverts themselves but rather the topic that they belonged to. The troubling issue for me was that I had not searched for or visited any website or app that belonged to this topic but rather just had a conversation the previous night about the topic at hand. I thought to myself that this must just be a coincidence but decided to put my theory to the test and see if I was just overthinking this or if there could perhaps be some truth to my theory that Facebook does listen in to conversations.
I decided to try run a test in a controlled environment and the results were quite scary. I made sure that I sat in a room with no other noise or conversations and kept mentioning a specific word that I know for sure I haven’t discussed in a long time. The topic I chose was that of Accommodation in Ireland. With this in mind I began chatting with myself whilst being sure to mention this particular phrase. The next morning something truly scary happened, I was seeing advertisements that made reference to this exact topic. Perhaps I may be losing my mind or maybe there may be some truth in this theory.
This issue is not something new and has already been written on in the following article which was subsequently denied by Facebook. To all our readers, we suggest you try out this same experiment and see if you get the same results. If this proves to be true, it may be quite a serious invasion of privacy and something quite scary to think could be happening.