Facebook didn’t do it intentionally, or perhaps it did. It seems that your “Likes” and “Logged in Via Facebook” comments can automate the social media engine to discover your most intimate secrets. This guy calls himself ‘Matt’; someone who never imagined that his closely guarded sexual orientation will be shared with Facebook one day.
How Facebook Found out that Matt was Gay?
In one of his emails to BuzzFeed, Matt says that the only person who knew about him being gay was his close friend. Other than that, Matt had no reason to believe that Facebook would be a place where his secret will no longer be a secret anymore.
So what happened behind the curtains? As it appears, Facebook suggested some ads and a Facebook Page of author: Rick Clemons AKA “coming out coach”. Rick helps people deal with their dilemmas and those secrets or past incidents that they feel shy of.
To be honest, everyone holds his/her sexuality close to their hearts. Many days ago, Matt woke up to a sponsored Facebook page that asked: “Coming out? Need help?” He didn’t pay much attention to it. However, after a few hours, it dawned on Matt that the sponsored feed was referring to his homosexuality.
The guy was shocked. How did it happen?
You see, Matt, just like normal Facebook users, had a commenting history. Whenever you are logged in through Facebook and you’re commenting, it leaves a trail behind. At the BuzzFeed website, Matt shared his thoughts on an article: “Ohio Senator Rob Portman Announces Support for Marriage Equality.” He did so when he was logged into his Facebook account. Oops…
These days, a lot of websites use Facebook API to help users comment or sign in if they don’t have an account over there. Other websites that Matt visited is his own business. But that’s how things rolled that day.
Author Charles Duhigg, in his book: The Power of Habit, wrote the story of a young girl who became pregnant. The teenager was trying hard not to spill the beans but her parents and neighborhood still found out about her “secret”. Soon when Target reps started contacting her, and kept mailing her coupons for baby diapers and infant care products, it became evident that she was with child.
Whatever she was buying at the Checkout line, Target took a note of her buying behavior. Later on, after Target’s algorithm compiled the data, the suggestions concerning baby products were generated automatically. Isn’t that surprising?
So the next time you are logged in at Facebook, do know that your secrets and interactions are no longer hidden. In fact, who am I kidding? There’s no such thing as privacy on the internet. We are given a sense of false hope and false freedom – things are not in our control anymore.
What do you think? Let us know through the comments below.