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Facebook has some pretty weird ideas about what you’re interested in

by Jacob Kleinman | December 4, 2015December 4, 2015 9:30 am PDT

facebook ad preferences

You probably filled out a few interests on Facebook when you first signed up—maybe a favorite band or movie. You’ve probably Liked plenty of pages, but the social network’s data on you and everyone else who uses the social network, goes way deeper. It also gets a little weird.

A webpage within Facebook’s settings menu spotted by BuzzFeed reveals all the preferences the company thinks you have. This is the information it uses to serve up ads in your News Feed. You can see your personalized version of this page by hitting the source link below. It’s also available through the settings menu under Ads when you choose to edit “Ads based on my preferences.”

You should see a list of broad categories like Education, Family and Relationships, and Food and Drink. Pick one and you’ll see a much longer list of specific topics. This is basically a list of everything you’ve ever clicked on, liked or mentioned on Facebook (and maybe elsewhere).

It may also explain why some of those ads don’t actually match your real interests. For example, Facebook thinks I’m interested in Columbia University and Syracuse University, but I never went to either school. Some are just plain weird. Apparently my hobbies include Bird nest, Citizenship, Smoke detector, Thermostat and Yak (as in the animal).

You can delete individual preferences by clicking on the “x” to the right of each one. It would probably take hours to clear the entire list, but at least you should be able to delete a few of the stranger topics.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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