April 9, 2010

Oh Facebook, You Don't Know Me As Well As You Think You Do...

Facebook is known for customizing the ads on each user's sidebar. They're generally pretty good at it...to the point of being a little disconcerting. Once in awhile though, an ad will appear that leaves me wondering what possessed them to link me to that ad.

On closer inspection, sometimes I can see that it's because some of my friends are fans. Surely that's why the ads for Ann Coulter keep showing up in my sidebar. There can't possibly be anything on my profile that would lead Facebook to link me to Ann Coulter.

Then there are generic ads for things like Netflix and for weight loss. Although come to think of it, I'm not sure if the weight loss ads are generic or not. The paranoid part of me suspects they might not be generic at all, but since obesity is a national epidemic, maybe I shouldn't be so sensitive.

Facebook can't actually see me, can they?

No, Margaret, stop the paranoia. And stop talking to yourself. They might be watching you right now.

Take a deep breath...breathe in, breathe out.

OK, I'm better now. Where was I?

Oh, yeah. I was leading up to the ad that really ticked me off. It was about this time last year. It was an ad that was so offensive, I felt led to ask Facebook to permanently remove it my sidebar.

What was it for?

A dating service for SENIORS

As in senior citizens. Seriously. SENIORS.

I'm telling you, I was ticked. My 50th birthday was approaching, but it was still a couple of months away at the time. And even if I had already turned the magic number, it's only 50, for crying out loud. When did 50 earn senior status? How many senior discounts do you see for 50-year-olds? Um, none that I've seen. I'm just sayin'...

Despite my outrage, I managed to spot a thumbs down sign right below the ad. I clicked it, and lo and behold, a Facebook pop-up magically appeared inquiring as to the source of my unhappiness.

"There's an ad for a senior dating service on my sidebar, and I'm not even 50 yet! I'm still 49 for crying out loud. And even if I were 50, I wouldn't be interested in dating senior citizens. I want you to make the ad go away!"

To Facebook's credit, the ad did, indeed, go away.  I haven't seen it since that fateful day.

Now where's the thumbs down under that Ann Coulter ad?

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