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Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads.

signal-instagram-ads3.jpg

In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the advertising platform relies on to perform its targeting.
"We created a multi-variant targeted ad designed to show you the personal data that Facebook collects about you and sells access to," said Signal. "The ad would simply display some of the information collected about the viewer which the advertising platform uses. Facebook was not into that idea."
signal-instagram-ads1.jpg

The starkly transparent ads used Signal branding and featured the user's professional role, education, interests, hobbies, location, and relationship status, amongst other personal data points pruned from their interaction with the platform. Unsurprisingly, the ads never made it to Instagram users' feeds and Signal's ad account for the platform was summarily disabled.
"Facebook is more than willing to sell visibility into people's lives, unless it's to tell people about how their data is being used. Being transparent about how ads use people's data is apparently enough to get banned; in Facebook's world, the only acceptable usage is to hide what you're doing from your audience."
In recent months, Signal has enjoyed a surge in account sign-ups following a bungled privacy policy update by rival service WhatsApp, which caused a user exodus from the Facebook-owned platform.

signal-instagram-ads2.jpg

The privacy-focused chat app has also been promoted by prominent Signal users like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Edward Snowden, which has only added to mainstream interest in the service.

Article Link: Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
11,699
8,554
I'm a rolling stone.
What's the news here...????

The Washington post bans an add from The New York Times in their papers because they attack them in that add....isn't that obvious.

I hate Facebook/Insta but this is just silly to blame them.

Edit: Seems like somehow I misunderstand the topic, why else do I get downvoted, excuse me if I do.
The news here is that if there is a scammy ad, Facebook usually takes a week or more to do anything about it as it rakes in the dough all the while saying that "we are reviewing the incident" or "moderation is an imperfect science".

This case shows that Facebook have the ability and the willingness to act immediately to take an ad down when their own self-interest is at stake.
Thanks for pointing that out to me.
 
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vladi

macrumors 6502a
Jan 30, 2010
708
352
Google is even worse in this regard, they got even more meta data out of you. But so do Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and other giants that have the best data mining scripts out there. The game went so deep that you don't even have to click on the banner add anymore, they know if you looked at it or not that's how crazy tracking has become.
 
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Bug-Creator

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2011
937
3,690
Germany
The Washington post bans an add from The New York Times in their papers because they attack them in that add....isn't that obvious.

I hate Facebook/Insta but this is just silly to blame them.

Huh?

I'm pretty sure Signal knew that these ads would either never show or be pulled fast, but it was still a perfect troll and does give people a hint into what personalized data FB sells to advertisers (and worse).
 
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Forti

macrumors regular
Nov 14, 2018
162
227
Gdynia, Poland
I was talking with friend of mine about his new job in one of the top popular beer company, and he send me a picture of 0% beer - on Signal.
Next day I saw a few ads of that beer on Facebook.

Worth to add - I haven't google or anything like this about the beer or that company.

Ye, privacy :)
 
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haruhiko

macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
5,599
3,694
Huh?

I'm pretty sure Signal knew that these ads would either never show or be pulled fast, but it was still a perfect troll and does give people a hint into what personalized data FB sells to advertisers (and worse).
Some people have Stockholm syndrome for Facebook.
“Yeah yeah, they are exploiting me, but they have a reason, they have families to raise, Mark needs to earn that billions of money to support the poor people in Africa… there are reasons….”
 
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haruhiko

macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
5,599
3,694
I was talking with friend of mine about his new job in one of the top popular beer company, and he send me a picture of 0% beer - on Signal.
Next day I saw a few ads of that beer on Facebook.

Worth to add - I haven't google or anything like this about the beer or that company.

Ye, privacy :)

Did you ever suspect it’s Instagram? It strongly pushes users to enable microphone access in Instagram Stories. I enabled microphone access once thinking that this is the only way to use “Instagram Stories” (later I found that I can still post photos/videos in Photo Library without surrendering microphone access). Then, I talked about some products with my wife a few days later, and all my internet are populated with that product’s ads.

I’m quite sure it’s Instagram since I don’t give microphone access to most apps.
 
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CarpalMac

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2012
1,463
3,358
UK
Google is even worse in this regard, they got even more meta data out of you. But so do Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and other giants that have the best data mining scripts out there. The game went so deep that you don't even have to click on the banner add anymore, they know if you looked at it or not that's how crazy tracking has become.

Google don't sell your data onto 3rd parties like Facebook does though, they sell advertising slots, whilst also providing services which (I for one) find very beneficial and save me a lot of time and money. It's a trade I am willing to make.

Facebook on the otherhand is internet and social cancer.
 
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polyphenol

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2020
492
545
Wales
Did you ever suspect it’s Instagram? It strongly pushes users to enable microphone access in Instagram Stories. I enabled microphone access once thinking that this is the only way to use “Instagram Stories” (later I found that I can still post photos/videos in Photo Library without surrendering microphone access). Then, I talked about some products with my wife a few days later, and all my internet are populated with that product’s ads.

I’m quite sure it’s Instagram since I don’t give microphone access to most apps.
It is in our hands - not to join Instagram, nor Facebook, at all.
 
Comment

CarpalMac

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2012
1,463
3,358
UK
Did you ever suspect it’s Instagram? It strongly pushes users to enable microphone access in Instagram Stories. I enabled microphone access once thinking that this is the only way to use “Instagram Stories” (later I found that I can still post photos/videos in Photo Library without surrendering microphone access). Then, I talked about some products with my wife a few days later, and all my internet are populated with that product’s ads.

I’m quite sure it’s Instagram since I don’t give microphone access to most apps.

Similar happened with a friend of mine and Carwow. I talked to him about it (in person) and the next day he was getting adverts for it, even though he had never heard of them and never looked them up....
 
Comment

wanha

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2020
199
484
What's the news here...????

The Washington post bans an add from The New York Times in their papers because they attack them in that add....isn't that obvious.

I hate Facebook/Insta but this is just silly to blame them.
The news here is that if there is a scammy ad, Facebook usually takes a week or more to do anything about it as it rakes in the dough all the while saying that "we are reviewing the incident" or "moderation is an imperfect science".

This case shows that Facebook have the ability and the willingness to act immediately to take an ad down when their own self-interest is at stake.
 
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Comment

himanshumodi

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2012
540
571
India
Can someone tell me why do i keep getting dudes wanting to tell me how to set up and run a "consulting business", or how I am missing a big opportunity to earn millions. I legitimately have never searched or talked about anything close to this to anyone. It's extremely confusing.
 
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dvanwinkle

macrumors member
Feb 9, 2009
91
296
Ohio
I was talking with friend of mine about his new job in one of the top popular beer company, and he send me a picture of 0% beer - on Signal.
Next day I saw a few ads of that beer on Facebook.

Worth to add - I haven't google or anything like this about the beer or that company.

Ye, privacy :)
So, you were talking to a friend about a beer company. That friend obviously searched for it to send you a picture. Hence the ad. Nothing to do with your microphone at all, or Signal.
 
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Reactions: mw360
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