Technology

This browser extension makes it harder for Facebook advertisers to target you

A trio of Mozilla Fellows recently released a browser extension designed to prevent Facebook advertisers from identifying you. We argued that Facebook should pay users for their data, but instead, this tool at least makes it harder to exploit by the social network.

Fuzzify.me is a browser extension for Chrome or Firefox that collects information while you are browsing Facebook. It tells you the advertisements that you have seen and, if so, gives the reason why Facebook has aired the ad. It offers one-click access to your Facebook ads settings and an interface for bulk removal of categories.

Facebook relies on your inability to follow its algorithm to offer you continuous advertising according to your expectations and those of its advertisers. It is essentially a data collection agency disguised as a social network. There is really only one thing: categorizing its users so that advertisers can target us more easily.

The vast majority of us are not worried about it. In one way or another, we have been convinced that toxic comment sections, children's photos and "free" access to Candy Crush constitute a sufficient payment in exchange for our data . But these data have made Facebook one of the richest societies in the world, despite the damage that it caused.

Facebook is not all bad and may even have good intentions most of the time. But it's a for-profit business – a for-profit business. And that means its main motivation is to leverage your data for money.

If you've taken the time to browse the categories that Facebook has submitted to you, chances are your eyebrows have risen several times as you think about how you end up in certain groups. Otherwise, you can do this by doing the following:

Connect to Facebook
Click settings
Click on your Facebook information
Click on Show next to access your information
Scroll to Information about yourself
Click the small arrow in the Ads section
Click on advertising interests

Once you've done all this, you'll find cards representing all the advertisers who are targeting you. You can click on each of them to delete them (provided you have time to browse them all). And then, once you're done, you can go back to your normal Facebook navigation.

Of course you will have to come back regularly and erase these categories. Facebook does not make it particularly easy to "refuse", but Fuzzify.me solves this problem. It will remind you regularly to clear your advertising preferences. And, instead of a long process involving the removal of tens or even hundreds or thousands of individual advertisers, you can erase them in just a few clicks if the extension is installed.

Fuzzify.me was created by three members of Mozilla, Hang Do Thi Duc, Becca Ricks and Joana Varon. Like everyone else, they are inundated with ads when they use Facebook. Part of their inspiration for building the project is how social network ads target women.

According to the developer Hang Do Thi Duc, whose recent portfolio includes a revealing visualization of user data Venmo women can free themselves from these advertising preferences:

Facebook users, especially women, regularly see insidious and presumptuous advertisements. These ads use personal data to sell cribs, fertility programs and weight loss products. As comedian Ashley Black tweeted : "Until now, the best thing about the move is the announcements of apartments and furniture that replace all the loss announcements of weight and dating.Women have ads of shit. "

Facebook developers make it difficult to manage your advertising preferences. They know that you probably do not have the time and the will to resist their data collection efforts. The team behind Fuzzify.me wants to help you prove their mistake.

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