Facebook Thinks It Knows Your Politics

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Do you keep your political leanings private? Even if you try to remain tight-lipped, Facebook thinks it has your politics figured out.

According to The New York Times, Facebook has you categorized based on your suspected political views. For example, the social media giant might have you categorized as “Liberal,” “Moderate,” or “Conservative.” Or perhaps even “Very Conservative” or “Very Liberal.”

The label is based on a number of factors, including:

  • Pages you’ve liked, even if they’re not political
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Where you live
  • Your friends list
  • Ads you’ve clicked on

It’s easy to find out how Facebook has you categorized politically. Simply log in to Facebook and then go to this page. Under the header titled “Interests,” click on the “Lifestyle and Culture” tab. Then find the box titled “US Politics.” There, in parentheses, you’ll see how Facebook has labeled your political leanings.

If “US Politics” doesn’t show up for you, simply click on the “See more” button. (It is worth noting, though, that some Money Talks News staffers who tried this did not see “Politics” at all.)

Why does Facebook care about your supposed politics? According to the Times:

The information is valuable. Advertisers, including many political campaigns, pay Facebook to show their ads to specific demographic groups. The labels Facebook assigns to its users help campaigns more precisely target a particular audience.

For example, the Times reports that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign has paid for some ads to be shown to Facebook users that are categorized as “Moderate.”

If you’re confused by some of the “interests” Facebook lists for you, click on the thumbnail image or hover your mouse on the “interest” and check out the explanation the social media giant provides. You can then click on the “X” to have the so-called interest removed from your ad preferences.

Did you check your Facebook account to see how the social media giant has you categorized politically? Is Facebook on the mark? Share your experiences below or on Facebook.

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