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Facebook To Request Feedback On Deleted Adverts

Dumped Ads Just Want to Know “Why?”

Since near enough its inception, Facebook has allowed us to remove ads from our news feeds. It makes complete sense for everyone; we're able to remove content we have no interest in seeing, Facebook appears more free and open to its users and the adverts which do worm their way onto our timelines seem more like information than a sales pitch. After all, we can remove our friends' posts and unfollow pages, so being able to remove ads from our feeds makes them seem more like the content we want to see than the content they've paid to shove down our collective throat.

However, this process is evolving. Over the weekend, you may have noticed that any adverts you ditched will have fallen to their knees, looked up at you with warm tears in their eyes and asked one simple question: "Why?" You can now decide which of five options best describes your beef, and the responses range from finding an advert spammy (like beef, geddit?!) to finding it offensive.

According to Facebook's official blog, Zuckerberg and co have rolled out the update in an effort to ensure that they "show people ads...they'll find interesting." Good old Facebook, always thinking of us. Whether they're helping us use our online data allowance by auto-playing videos on our phones or they're spying on our chats to keep us out of trouble (OK, this one is admittedly a load of rubbish), it’s heartwarming to think they're always acting in our best interests.

Prior to the update, Facebook used the removal of an advert as a sign that a user wanted to see fewer ads like that in general. Hide one advert about online gambling and Facebook's algorithm-pixies will presume that you don't want to see Ray Winstone's face plastered all over your news feed, asking you to give your hard-earned cash to an online bookies. This update, however, improves upon that process; perhaps you just find a certain advert offensive, but do in fact want to see more ads targeting your crippling gambling addiction. Now, at last, you're tailored for.

As detailed in the blog post, certain users will have more say than others in whether an ad needs to be looked at and potentially removed. People who hide fewer ads will be listened to more closely than the serial censorers, who are statistically less choosy in the adverts they suppress. So bad luck if you're the type that gets offended easily. Sorry about that. You'll just have to learn to stop crying wolf.
Zuckerberg and co will hope the change will increase the success rates of adverts in people’s news feeds. By tailoring the adverts, they are able to better ensure that the ads we do see are relevant to our interests. If the update works as intended, they'll be more personalised, more interesting and more likely to encourage us to click. Everyone will be a winner.

Mostly the advertisers, admittedly.


Emile is a postgrad from the University of Saint Mark and Saint John. He’s hoping to break into journalism or publishing, and won’t stop blogging until he’s managed it! Follow him @EmileAtSMF.

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Facebook To Request Feedback On Deleted Adverts Reviewed by Emile Cole on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Rating: 5
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