Facebook and your face: Opting out of social ads

Yes, you can remove your face from Facebook ads. But you may not 'Like' how you have to do it.

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However, there is a workaround. You can unLike things you’ve previously Liked, which means they won’t be used in ads. So if in a moment of less than perfect sobriety you clicked “Like” on, say, a Depends fan page, you can save yourself the embarrassment having your name and photo appear alongside an ad for adult diapers some time in the future.

To do this, go to your Edit My Profile page and select Activities and Interests. If the page you no longer “Like” is listed, just click the little x in the top right corner and then confirm you want to remove it. If your “Like” isn’t listed, select Show Other Pages. In the window that pops up, scroll down to the pages you want to unLike and click Remove. Voila. You will have removed your name and face from being used in an ad for that product.

facebook likes page edit 

(Nota bene: Being perpetual optimists, Facebook only announces when you Like something, not when you unLike it. So if somebody you know remembers the Depends activity on your feed, you’ll have to convince them that they’re the ones who are losing it, not you.)

Other social ads work slightly differently. In those cases, advertisers submit their ad copy to Facebook, which then matches the ads to people in your friends list who have Liked that product, and then serves the ads to you. Advertisers never get the names of the people used in the ads, McCormick says.

You can opt out of other social ads that use your “Likes” by following the instructions I gave in my last post (Account/Account Settings/Facebook ads). Fair enough.

Still, that whole “allowed in the future” line bugged me, so I pressed McCormick on it. I asked, Can you state definitively that Facebook will never allow third-party advertisers to use profile pictures in their ads?

“At Facebook we never say anything definitively,” he replied.

That I definitely (though not definitively) believe.

ITworld TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan really doesn’t like capitalizing the word “Like.” Experience his juvenile sense of humor at eSarcasm (Geek Humor Gone Wild) or follow him on Twitter:@tynan_on_tech.

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