Is Facebook Listening To Conversations? | 2018

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Do you get creepy ads served to you on Facebook? Is Facebook reading your mind or is Facebook listening to your conversations?

Is Facebook Listening To Conversations? | 2018

Have you ever panicked after Facebook served you an ad that was a little too perfect? How about that time you were talking about that beautiful Ravenclaw scarf that you didn't get for Christmas and an ad for it magically landed in the middle of your Facebook feed? We feel you. It's super creepy and it makes us wonder is Facebook listening to conversations? After all, it's 2018 and Black Mirror season 4 has made us a little more paranoid about technology. So, how does Facebook know? It's time to put on your Nancy Drew hats to find out if Facebook is listening to your conversations!

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Is Facebook Listening To My Conversations On My Phone's Microphone?

Wondering if your phone's microphone is being used to target you for Facebook ads? Well, Facebook has repeatedly denied it. So, as of right now, no. Facebook does not use your microphone to listen to your conversations on your phone and the Facebook app. Rob Goldman, who runs advertising technology at Facebook, even took it to Twitter to say "We don't - and have never - used your microphone for ads. Just not true."

How Does Facebook Know?

While it would certainly be something if Facebook was listening to us at all times, they aren't. But, how do their ads target us so well? The answer is a little more terrifying than the idea that Facebook is listening to us. The truth is, Facebook developers have made an algorithm that understands us better than we realize. Facebook is constantly gathering information about us through online and real-life information. For example, if you give Facebook location access on your phone app, the social media site can track you at all times. This means that Facebook knows where you go and likely what products you like to buy. And from there, the Facebook algorithm can predict what we might like and dislike. Facebook doesn't need to listen to us. They already know what we want, sometimes even before we do.

Maybe we are in an episode of Black Mirror after all.

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How To Stop Facebook From Spying On You

While you probably can't stop everything Facebook does, you can limit its access. Here's what you can do!

  • Turn off or limit how Facebook customizes ads by going to your Facebook ad preferences page

  • Install a safe ad blocker on your computer and phone

  • Install Facebook Disconnect, which stops Facebook from seeing what you do on other websites.

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