Mar 25, 2013 1:36 AM GMT
Facebook creepily offers help to a gay guy thinking of “coming out”
Enter Matt. As BuzzFeed notes, Matt was your typical Facebook user who suddenly found an ad in his news feed for help in coming out. The weird thing was that Matt “did” need help coming out, and understandably he was more than a bit curious as to how Facebook knew.
At first, Matt wondered if Facebook had accessed his text messages, as he had confided in a close friend the previous night that he was gay, and asked for advice. There didn’t seem to be any other reason for Facebook to suggest Clemons’ page; his only two “likes” were for a politician and a local bar, neither of which would suggest anything about his sexual orientation. Moreover, he hadn’t mentioned anything on his wall or over Facebook chat.
After checking his activity log, all he could find were two comments, linked to his Facebook, that he left on a Buzzfeed article covering Rob Portman’s endorsement of marriage equality.
While Facebook insists that it does not access text messages or chats sent through its mobile app, it doesn’t need to directly invade our privacy in order to make startlingly accurate inferences about us.