Facebook gives users more control over ads, and an explanation
Say you’re an average 20-something Facebook user, scanning your timeline for tips on where to eat this weekend. So why are you inundated with ads for retirement communities? Facebook began explaining why early Thursday, as well as giving users more control over the ads they’re served.
The social network will soon allow users to see the collection of data it has stored about them, as well as to change or delete some of that information in an effort to receive more relevant advertisements.
Much of the platform’s process for serving ads does not rely on Facebook activity at all. The site explained Thursday that it looks at visits to outside websites and apps to determine users’ interests and serve them ads based on that.
Facebook is explaining its ad-serving process partly in response to questions from users about why they’re seeing irrelevant promotions. "If you don’t want us to use the websites and apps you use to show you more relevant ads, we won’t," the company said in a blog post. "If you’re not interested in electronics, you can remove electronics from your ad interests."
Here’s Facebook’s explanation of the policy change.
Four things to know Thursday morning:
The Council of Public Relations Firms is the latest organization to sign up for Wikipedia’s guidelines on how communications pros should interact with the online encyclopedia. Look for more agencies to sign the statement of principles soon.
Uber is suddenly one of the most highly valued technology startups in the world, but it’s not exactly beloved by cabbies. In London this week, taxi drivers blockaded part of the city in protest of the app-based service. PRWeek UK looks at whether the move was a hit or miss. Meanwhile, Uber’s former communications director, Andrew Noyes, has found a new home at Brigade Media, the group backed by Sean Parker that wants to fight the public’s apathy about civic engagement.
Remember when the White House mistakenly outed the CIA station chief in Kabul in a statement issued to journalists last month? It said this morning that it has put safeguards in place to make sure that does not happen again. The Obama administration did not say it will fire any staffers over the miscue.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost in a stunning upset to relative unknown Dave Brat on Tuesday. He said Wednesday that he’ll resign his leadership post at the end of July. Cantor’s loss means his efforts to rebrand the GOP as a less dogmatic party focused on problem-solving is likely also DOA.