This has been bugging me for a while, but I don’t know that much about it. Perhaps some of my readers could edify me in the comments section.
If I am not mistaken, Facebook looks at the information we post on their site and sells it to advertisers. I do not know whether they look at the contents of the messages we send to each other, but my guess would be that anything that uses the site is fair game.
This raises a question, namely: why on earth are we all using Facebook so much? Let’s go back to email, which I think (but am not sure) is not monitored by anyone. I think I can email my brother and write, “Wow, those Kleenex (TM) brand facial tissues sure did help me when I had a cold” without then having my love of Kleenex sent off to Proctor and Gamble (or whoever makes Kleenex) along with my email address.
I find Facebook extremely limited in its usefulness. I have around 800 Facebook friends, most of whom I do not know. When I put a picture of myself holding my French horn up as a profile picture, I picked up about 100 horn playing “friends” from all over the world, which is kind of cool in theory, but really all it means is that there are a bunch of horn players all over the world. I knew that already.
I have never responded to a Facebook event invitation. I have never put my birthday on anyone’s birthday calendar. I don’t do any of the special things that Facebook allows me to do, and I’m not really aware of what those special things might be.
In all fairness, there are a few excellent videos on FB of my group the Meridian Arts Ensemble performing live, but really, those could be on Youtube just as easily.
Facebook is now becoming a publicly held corporation, valued at nine gagillion dollars. Somebody thinks Facebook is worth a ton of money, and that somebody is advertisers. So why are we voluntarily giving them a tidy list of our likes and dislikes?