August 24, 2016

Facebook thinks I'm a liberal.

From "Liberal, Moderate or Conservative? See How Facebook Labels You" (in the NYT):
Go to facebook.com/ads/preferences on your browser. (You may have to log in to Facebook first.)

That will bring you to a page with your ad preferences. Under the “Interests” header, click the “Lifestyle and Culture” tab. Then look for a box titled “US Politics.” In parentheses, it will describe how Facebook has categorized you, such as liberal, moderate or conservative.

(If the “US Politics” box does not show up, click the “See more” button under the grid of boxes.)

Facebook makes a deduction about your political views based on the pages that you like — or on your political preference, if you stated one, on your profile page. If you like the page for Hillary Clinton, Facebook might categorize you as a liberal....

Even if you do not like any candidates’ pages, if most of the people who like the same pages that you do — such as Ben and Jerry’s ice cream — identify as liberal, then Facebook might classify you as one, too.
I've never "liked" any political candidate or political party or political cause on Facebook. According to Facebook: "You have this preference because we think it may be relevant to you based on what you do on Facebook."

78 comments:

David Begley said...

Facebook knows you live in Madison and work for the University. Therefore, 90% chance Althouse is liberal.

theribbonguy said...

Next your going to tell me that they consider water to be wet.

rehajm said...

Liking pages is not the only way Facebook identifies your preferences...

We use cookies to help us show ads for businesses and other organizations to people who may be interested in the products, services or causes they promote.
For example: Cookies allow us to help deliver ads to people who have previously visited a business’s website, purchased its products or used its apps.


Frequent visits to the NYT, New Yorker, etc. will quickly identify you as a liberal..

Sydney said...

It labeled me a moderate. I think I am probably more conservative than moderate. I stay away from politics on FB, to the point I have unfollowed my friends who do post political items. I admit most of those are liberals, but only because liberals seem to have an uncontrollable obsession with posting insulting political items. Most of my FB postings and likes revolve around family/gardening/religion/prayer/art/medicine.

fivewheels said...

Huh. It thinks I'm a liberal too. Which is ... not very accurate. I would guess it's because of all the trendy restaurants in my downtown neighborhood I've liked? It's probably not the Japanese metal bands.

epador said...

There is a reason I left Facebook, and soon Twitter. This is the kind of profiling we support by providing an advertising base of revenue by participating in these services. Wordpress, Blogger seems relatively free of this bias.

Sydney said...

@rehjam - The cookies technique is probably the biggest contributor. I only visit Althouse, Instapundit, FirstThings, Drudge Staples, medical supply companies, amazon, and medical journals on the browser I use for Facebook, so I can see how it would have trouble categorizing me.

The Godfather said...

"Very conservative" -- Is that defamatory?

dreams said...

Facebook thinks I'm very conservative so its right about Althouse and me. Though I consider myself a fiscal conservative.

Popville said...

Lol, FB lists me as Very Liberal. Must be because most of my friends are musicians or music related, and they obsessively post lefty fundamentalist crap. I avoid making political posts on FB, or commenting on such. And using likes for data mining would be useless, as they're typically to let folks know you're not ignoring them. Just shows us how poor FB actually is with big data.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I've never "liked" any political candidate or political party or political cause on Facebook.

All the more remarkable. FB probably knows you better than you know yourself.

John said...

Liberal as in progressive?

Or liberal as in classical liberal/libertarian/minarchist?

No worries, I am not going anywhere near Facebag to find out.

John Henry

Sydney said...

Interesting- in the list of advertisers who got my contact info from Facebook there is an anti-Hillary PAC. I do recall once posting a comment on someone's political post that I would never vote for Hillary because our government/justice system would never hold her accountable.

John said...

Always bear in mind:

On Facebook you are not the customer. You are the product that they sell to advertisers.

Gmail, blogger, YouTube and all the other free services too, of course.

Ever read the terms of service for Facebook? Basically you have given them the right to root around in your hard drive, not just Facebook activities, and use anything they find that they think might be of use to them. It may have changed since they change the TOS about weekly but probably not.

It is why I do not permit anyone to use any of my devices to access Facebook. May daughter did once, on a guest account on my desktop, and it took me a long time to track down and eliminate all the Facebook artifacts.

rehajm said...

Facebook thinks I'm a liberal.

Sometimes Facebook knows you better than you know yourself...

...sometimes the collective tracking techniques get it very, very wrong. I ended up on the the White House Christmas card list for all of Obama's first term. I assumed he was doing it to rub it in...

Unknown said...

FB has me as "very liberal"

I have never voted for a Dem in any election ever.

After voting twice for Reagan, I've voted Libertarian ever since.

buwaya puti said...

Its all that NYT and New Yorker stuff.
It will peg you better than anything.

Nonapod said...

I haven't posted anything to Facebook in two years (unless count posts to FB messenger), and even back when I posted more frequently, I very rarely (if ever) posted or liked anything political. I'd rather not even check to see what FB thinks I am, but given all the eclectic sites I frequent I can't imagine they'd be very accurate.

To me it seems a little insulting to reduce someone to a result set barfed out by some algorithm, even if it's accurate. I mean, I'm more than just numbers man! I have... like... feelings or whatever.

SteveR said...

I got "knuckle-dragging troglodyte"

Unknown said...

I got Liberal - I'm not in the least bit liberal.

Unknown said...

I got a rock

MayBee said...

Facebook thinks I'm liberal. And I am! I'm not a progressive. And I'm not this years' Democrat. But I'm a real liberal.

Rick said...

Do you not think you're a liberal? As you have said the only element of conservatism you support is fiscal sanity. But even on this topic your position seems to be "let's not greatly increase spending without paying for it" rather than "greatly reduce spending". For most of modern history this would not have been outside liberal mainstream. Even today many liberals claim to support this position.

JHapp said...

no “US Politics” box, no “See more”

Big Mike said...

But you are left of center. You only feel like a moderate because you live in Madison.

Henry said...

Very liberal. Working class. Huh. I suspect this comes not from the fact that I am very liberal (sometimes) but that I have some very liberal friends and I occasionally click on their news links. Sometimes I click on a link just to take the temperature of the bullshit.

Next I clicked on Hobbies and Activities and things got weird:

Dental Floss, Caribou, Pipeline Transport, Propeller, Walrus.

Freeman Hunt said...

It thinks I am conservative. In addition to this interest, it lists others, including communism, secularity, the Bronze Age, the cinema of Japan, and Moroccan Arabic.

damikesc said...

You are one. Not as much a Progressive, but you're a liberal.

dreams said...

Althouse considers herself a liberal and has said so when people incorrectly assume she's a conservative.

eric said...

I'm going to have to find a way to trick Facebook that I'm a liberal, Democrat, atheist.

Anything to be saved from the purge that is coming once Hillary wins.

bigkat said...

just because your favorite paper and paper of record is PRAVDA doesn't mean your a commie. I feel your pain .better put some ice on that. the NYT now owned by Mexicans , think that puts some extra twists in the pretzel making by the grey lady

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm curious what Facebook thinks I am.

Fernandinande said...

Under the “Interests” header, click the “Lifestyle and Culture” tab.

Fecebook has correctly determined that I don't have a lifestyle or culture. Scary!

Gusty Winds said...

If you list on your FB Page that you are a professor at the University of Wisconsin, then you are probably an assumed liberal.

Curious George said...

"Facebook thinks I'm a liberal."

Well, it ain't Chinese Algebra.

Ann Althouse said...

"On Facebook you are not the customer. You are the product that they sell to advertisers. Gmail, blogger, YouTube and all the other free services too, of course."

Facebook deserves credit for SHOWING us how they type us and also for letting us change it if we want. Maybe this is fake and there's another profile we can't see.

I don't have a problem with this targeted marketing. The Google adsense ads on my site are doing the same thing. It makes the ads I see more pleasing for me. I don't have to see toe fungus ads and the like. I see clothes and shoes from manufacturers I want to buy from

n.n said...

Classical liberalism is traditional. Liberalism is degenerative. Trans-liberalism is forward thinking.

campy said...

My page doesn't have an "Interests" header.

John said...

I too have no problem with targeted marketing. It work's horribly but I have no problem with it. I use Blogger and other services, though not Google or Bing for search (Privatelee.com is private)

My problem is with Facebook's TOS, that you agreed to if you use FB, that they have the right to use anything they find on your hard drive, including pictures, email, Peachtree financial files, anything, for whatever purpose they wish.

And you can do nothing about it.

That is why my computers never access Facebook.

It is also why I host any pictures or videos on my own servers. (Rented from Web.com)

It is why I never use gmail or any of the other "free" services except within sites like blogger

It is why I seldom use Drop Box or MS One Drive.

It is my and I do my best to keep it out of the hands of others like Google et al.

John Henry

John said...

Re targeted ads:

As I said, I have no problem with them. They are laughably ineffective but if people want to pay for them, fine by me.

Item: In April I stayed in the Hampton in Sanford NC for 4 nights. For 2 months I would get multiple daily ads to stay in the Sanford Hampton.

Item: I bought a trackball earlier this year from Amazon. I am still getting ads to buy a trackball.

And so on.

The ads I get seem, as often as not, to be based on what I have already bought rather than what I might buy. I could see this if it was something that might be a repeat purchase like laundry detergent. Not for a lot of the stuff I get ads for.

John Henry

victoria said...

Wow, are they wrong. Sorry, Ann, but you are in the bag for Trump, every bit as much as Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly.

I have been reading your blog for the last 10 years, searching and finding some true balance in this world of right wing, left wing bias.

Now I find that you are so slanted towards Trump that it is barely readable, for me at least.

I am not a Hillary supporter but, due to your horribly biased coverage of politics, i am almost (but not quite) leaning towards supporting her.

I am on the verge of deleting your blog from my favorites until after the election.
Sorry, i am sure that you and some of your readers will rejoice, but that is the way i feel


Vicki from Pasadema

eric said...

I am not a Hillary supporter but, due to your horribly biased coverage of politics, i am almost (but not quite) leaning towards supporting her.

Only in the mind of a progressive does this make sense.

Birches said...

Very Conservative.

SteveR said...

@unknown

great timing!

rehajm said...

eric said...
I am not a Hillary supporter but, due to your horribly biased coverage of politics, i am almost (but not quite) leaning towards supporting her.

Only in the mind of a progressive does this make sense.



This is very leftie. Sounds like when Jamie Diamond called himself Barely a Democrat.

MadisonMan said...

Very Liberal.

I might disagree.

Mr. D said...

I got Moderate. Glad they think so.

EMD said...

You can also remove it by rolling over it and clicking the X in the corner. Supposedly, that will change what ads you may/may not see. I was labeled as a liberal.


Anthony said...

Me Liberal, too, which, if one assumes it in the classical sense (as someone mentioned above) then, yes, I am a classical Liberal. Definitely not a modern statist Progressive Liberal though.

Darrell said...

Facebook thinks Chuck is a lifelong Republican.

Freeman Hunt said...

"The ads I get seem, as often as not, to be based on what I have already bought rather than what I might buy."

Yes. It seems like every time I buy something, I see ads for it for days. "Yeah, I do like that. That's why I already bought it."

Freeman Hunt said...

"Wow, are they wrong. Sorry, Ann, but you are in the bag for Trump, every bit as much as Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly."

Blogging about oddness in Trump coverage or unfairness toward Trump is not the same as wanting to vote for Trump.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

FB thinks I'm a moderate.

I would agree.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I am not a Hillary supporter but, due to your horribly biased coverage of politics, i am almost (but not quite) leaning towards supporting her.

If the posts of a single blogger can move you so deeply, perhaps you should seek professional help.

Unknown said...

Well, duh. ;-)

Sigivald said...

Facebook thinks I'm "Very Liberal".

Which is *baffling* to me, since I like no political pages at all and consistently block Liberal Meme Propaganda whenever I see it.

(It also thinks I might like the Constitution Party.

As if the two are ... compatible?

Mostly this is telling me Facebook, despite what The Fearmongers Of Dead Privacy have been telling me, knows f-all about me.)

Rae said...

FB has me down as "very conservative". Which is true as far as it goes. Although I've never felt less connected to the Republican Party and politics in general as I do right now.

I think the Republican Party is done for, honestly, whether or not Trump wins. And I think Dems will join it in the next election.

Darrell said...


FB correctly has me pegged as very Conservative. That's what I get for being friends with Mark Steyn and Ann Coulter.

For those of you not being able to access the correct page, try this--
https://www.facebook.com/ads/preferences

JaimeRoberto said...

FB thinks I'm moderate. FBI thinks I'm extremely conservative.

tim maguire said...

I don't have a politics tab. I do have a "civil and political rights: cause" tab that sounds pretty lefty. But that's it.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Vicki, I know the feeling. I tried listening to NPR yesterday after being away for a long time and I made it five minutes before I could no longer handle the Trump Derangement Syndrome and had to shut it off.

Retreating to the safety of podcasts for my auditory learning while doing housework needs for the duration.

P.S. I agree with Freeman that pointing out bullshit and bias directed at Trump is hardly the same thing as being a Trump supporter.

Original Mike said...

Althouse said..."Facebook thinks I'm a liberal."

You are a liberal. You think intrusive government can make things better.

tim in vermont said...

Facebook thinks I'm a moderate. LOL, where is ARM?

I am on the verge of deleting your blog from my favorites until after the election.

Well I guess if hearing the other side of the story is really that difficult for you, then you should go. You can hear the anti-Trump stuff 24-7, pretty much, everywhere you go. If that isn't enough reinforcement for you, if you still aren't getting enough apologia for Hillary, if the truth about her makes you so uncomfortable, I would suggest you go.

Or you could pipe up with all of the factual errors you seem to be finding, or tell her what things she should not say to not offend you, Vickie, that would be a real contribution to this blog.

But pro-Hillary talking points you can believe in are pretty thin on the ground, aren't they?

Original Mike said...

"I am on the verge of deleting your blog from my favorites until after the election.
Sorry, i am sure that you and some of your readers will rejoice, but that is the way i feel."

Vicki from Pasadema


Meh.

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
where is ARM?


Facebook ranks me as conservative, but I am sure a very moderate conservative.

Freeman Hunt said...

"could no longer handle the Trump Derangement Syndrome"

No kidding. I'm not even a Trump supporter, and the constant harping on bullshit by people who hate him is so grating that it makes me wish I supported him. Best example: The pretending that Trump asked Russia to hack servers in the United States and all the pearl clutching, faux outrage that went with it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Then Trump manages to annoy me when I open my email. "Expiring soon: Executive Level Membership." Membership to what? The Trump campaign? Executive level? Are there really levels in this imaginary organization that I never joined? I bet not. I bet all "memberships" are Executive. Why Executive? So all will feel important. "Golly, Executive Level--I'd hate to lose that..." And why should I care that something I never bought or joined is expiring? My neighbor doesn't text me when his bread is about to expire. My friends don't tell me when their magazine subscriptions run out. Why would I care about this?

In fairness, pretty much all political emails look like this.

Sam L. said...

Fecebook...is DEAD to me. Fece for face...typo, but it works for me.

eddie willers said...

The only 'like' I ever clicked on my little used Facebook page was the University of Georgia Bulldogs.

It pegged me as a conservative. So it got that right.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Bwah! I got "Very Liberal."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

eddie willers said...
The only 'like' I ever clicked on my little used Facebook page was the University of Georgia Bulldogs.


I like that eddie; you used your one well.

AReasonableMan said...

It is clear that the hyper-intelligent artificial intelligence behind Facebook's political assignments is revealing a deeper truth. People such as myself are clearly the true small 'c' conservatives, whereas many with pretenses to conservatism are in truth radicals of various sorts. Facebook is too polite to call these radicals by their real name and thus randomly assigns them to other groups.

Marc Puckett said...

Fb marks me as 'moderate', which I find vaguely reassuring-- am not so concerned about Mark's selling of my data if that's the best he can come up with based on the wealth of information I provide him with.

bagoh20 said...

Facebook thinks I'm dead, and that's the way I like it. Besides, politically, I'm somewhere mid-putrefaction and mostly just leaving a pungent stink in my wake.

protestmanager said...

Facebook thinks I'm, "Very Liberal".

Laughing so hard it hurts

Tacitus2 said...

Does not have a bead on me either. But then I claim to be 105 years old and was born in Antarctica.

Tacitus

Original Mike said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said..."It is clear that the hyper-intelligent artificial intelligence behind Facebook's political assignments is revealing a deeper truth. People such as myself are clearly the true small 'c' conservatives"

ARM thinks he's a conservative. Loon.

tim in vermont said...

People such as myself are clearly the true small 'c' conservatives"


Sure, we just don't have a problem with a ginormous national debt, same as all the other "small 'c' conservatives."