A Facebook user received a recommendation about Mein Kampf

A Facebook user received a recommendation about Mein Kampf

A French user who was consulting his Facebook page was suggested  to read the infamous ” Mein Kampf ” among other books. How is this possible? Advertising on the Internet via the famous algorithms rage. Here are a few explanation of this news that finally led Facebook to take off this word from its algorithms.

The user in question had nothing to do with any right-wing movements, but because he said he had read a novel by Philip Kerr taking place in Berlin under the Nazi time, the network then came up with this somewhat surprising book suggestion.

This was tested on several Facebook profiles by some AFP journalists: it does show a reference to the novels of Philip Kerr actually lead to ” Mein Kampf ” among other suggestions.

This is actually a malfunction of the social network – even if it makes us realizing that the book “Mein Kampf ” is not banned in France – but it especially demonstrates the pervasiveness of the famous algorithms , the mathematical models used to classify visitor information automatically.

These algorithms are indeed the center of the navigation on Facebook or Google, as they can better meet the needs of the users, providing them with more targeted content and suggestions about their activities. But the algorithm is also the way to compile and process your personal data, your interests and your Internet activity centers …

Advertising is everywhere on many search engines and social media , in exchange users thus get a free service. But these sites then try to use and sell information about their audience to advertisers … On Facebook, you may have noticed recently the “suggested posts ” on your news feed.

Targeted advertising is actually based on two potential data flows:

– Socio -demographic data that anyone accepts to give when creating its page: sex, age, city, marital status … So you can offer cheap trips to a young student or suggest a financial advice to a married man 50 years living in a big city.

– Behavioral or focus targeting, which is a newer approach. So Facebook records and stores what you liked, posted, recommended and also associates what you have done beyond the social network: for example, the sites you have visited, the research done on various search engines… a tour operator can thus target contacts on the social network, indicating the keywords corresponding to the desired areas of interest: weekend, flights, travel abroad … and yes, the your internet activity being monitored is the basis of the advertising digital word. The cookies record your activity, but it is thanks to them that you are being offered retargeting: therefore, you are thus pushed a product that seems to have sparked your interest. So these cookies imply that your interests determine the advertising to which you are exposed. But it is also thanks to the cookies that you do not have to login every time you connect to your favorite sites.

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