I've written before about my ambivalence towards Facebook (yay and boo). I love the concept, I really do -- I like staying connected, staying updated on my favorite musicians, non-profits, shows, etc., and I could waste away hours playing Scrabble with my friends.

But why must their ads be so incredibly annoying?! After reading about Cara's lovely email from MySpace, I got to thinking about all those damn ads I see on Facebook and have decided to start fighting an all-out war with Facebook.

My profile says I'm engaged, so I'd say about 75% of the ads I see have something to do with wedding planning. Get invitations here, make a wedding website there, win a dress, find a photographer, taste this yummy cake -- IT DRIVES ME CRAZY! I do not want to think about my wedding, that shit stresses me out. I do not go on Facebook to be stressed, I go on there to play Scrabble, damn it!

I also get a bit of the generic diet ads everyone else gets. You know the ones: aren't you just dying to know what diet Lauren Conrad is on?! OMG WE'LL TELL YOU HERE! But most of the diet ads I get are wedding-related. If you remember, there was the Skinny-Bride.com episode that still comes up as a keyword search term on my blog stats. They've moved on from that site and now just have generic "wedding diet" ads asking me if my non-existent dress will fit. Note: if my dress doesn't fit it's because I bought the wrong size and will return it for a new one.

Somewhat related to that, I get tons of ads for Lifebooker. That one doesn't annoy me as much simply because I actually used Lifebooker and it was pretty handy. It is still annoying to consider that most men probably don't get those ads.

I then get about 5% or less of what I call the normal ads. The ones about IQ, or Obama stickers, or the Bruce Springsteen album, or Battlestar Galactica posters. I imagine men get those, right?

Ok, so enough complaining, I've decided to take action. I've actually been doing this for a while, but will become more vigilante and am asking all of you to do it with me. Hopefully there's strength in numbers.

What I've been doing is thumbing down the ads and then leaving messages about how much I hate them. Here's how you do it. When you see an ad on Facebook, you'll see there's a thumbs up, thumbs down and next ad symbol. I hit the thumb down and it asks me "Why didn't you like this ad?" I choose "other" as my reason, and a text box comes up. There's a character limit on those suckers, so I either choose one part of the statement or use AIM talk 2 gt my point acros, u c? So here's what I want to say followed by what I write:

Wedding ads -- Thinking about the big wedding everyone wants me to have annoys me, and being reminded of it every time I go on FB really makes me not want to log on anymore. --> the big wedding evry1 wants me 2 hav annoys me. bein reminded makes me not want to log on to FB.

Diet ads -- Listen I'm not fat, don't appreciate being called fat & if I was fat, I wouldn't want to be reminded of it every day on FB. --> I'm not fat, don't want 2 b called fat & if I was fat, wouldn't want 2 be reminded evry day on FB.
OR If I had an eating disorder, I'm pretty sure logging on to FB every day would make it worse. This is irresponsible. --> If I had an eating disorder, logging on to FB evry day would make it worse. This is irresponsible.

So, do I have any new soldiers in my war on Facebook? I can only do so much by my little old self, so I could use the support. Please share any other ideas you have for fighting the good fight in the comments. Oh, and for all the men out there, I am so curious to know what kind of ads you get.

10 comments:

At Wed Feb 18, 01:22:00 PM Lotus said...

I've been having a war with facebook for a while. I normally just get the ads for weight loss and tag them as offensive.

 
At Wed Feb 18, 02:34:00 PM earlgreyrooibos said...

I'm rarely on facebook anymore, but whenever I do log on, I WILL fight the ad war. Because all I get are diet ads, too! urgh.

 
At Wed Feb 18, 03:01:00 PM JessSnark said...

Tagging the ads as offensive never worked for me- they kept showing up. As soon as I switched my profile from female to nothing, they were gone.

 
At Wed Feb 18, 03:04:00 PM frau sally benz said...

Woot! People joining the fight! Love it.

JessSnark, I actually did consider doing that, but I figure that then I have to make others suffer through the ads. It doesn't remove them for me either, but my hope (however false it is) is to flood them w/messages of "hey, you need new advertising!" at the very least.

 
At Wed Feb 18, 05:16:00 PM Danny said...

I then get about 5% or less of what I call the normal ads. The ones about IQ, or Obama stickers, or the Bruce Springsteen album, or Battlestar Galactica posters. I imagine men get those, right?
There's usually a few of those mixed in with all the "Meet Hot Singles!!", "Need a Date this Weekend?" and "Interracial Dating Only" ads and tech ads. Contrary to what some may think being interested in pcs means they want a thousand ads telling them how to get a free macbook.

So according to facebook all women are fat and want to get married, all men want to meet hot chicks, and people interested in technology just want free stuff. Might be time to set my sites on facebook.

 
At Wed Feb 18, 06:14:00 PM pizzadiavola said...

I then get about 5% or less of what I call the normal ads. The ones about IQ, or Obama stickers, or the Bruce Springsteen album, or Battlestar Galactica posters. I imagine men get those, right?

Facebook ads work such that the ad poster gets to set the parameters for the ad, e.g. a someone posting ads for a Weight Loss Program in Seattle might set it so that everyone who is female, 15-30 years old, and in the Seattle network will see that ad. The person putting up ads for BSG might set it so that everyone who mentions scifi in their interests or BSG in their favorite TV shows sees it, etc. The perpetrator of the ad targeting is the poster, not Facebook as an entity.

I do like the idea of sending feedback to ads that are annoying. However, the tradeoff will probably be ads that are more targeted (or maybe not; the targeting parameters on FB are based in profile information and aren't incredibly sophisticated).

 
At Wed Feb 18, 09:16:00 PM Erica said...

I've been labeling diet ads as offensive ever since they ran that godawful muffin-top ad (where a girl who probably weighed about half what I do is labeled as horrific and unloveable because she spills out over her pants).

I would love a series of ads showing women with "muffin tops" saying "Do you have this problem? Then buy some pants that fit and stop thinking that you have to wear size 2 jeans to be beautiful"

 
At Fri Feb 20, 03:57:00 PM Ed said...

i, too, hate the ads. i recently downloaded an ad blocker program called Add-Art - it replaces the ads with art and works really well on FB! i never see the ads lately...

 
At Sat Feb 21, 10:08:00 AM frau sally benz said...

Ooooh! Interesting Ed! I need to look into that if I get tired of fighting my war.

 
At Mon Feb 23, 05:54:00 AM Black Man F.l.u.f.f. said...

I wrote a couple articles about the oppresive nature of Facebook, here:
http://aworldbeyondcapitalism.org/index.php?pr=worthypurpose

and here:
http://www.networkingisfun.net

Hope they help you in some way.

Love for the people,
-T

 

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