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How TF did Facebook know this?

(51 Posts)
SheWranglesRugRats Sat 26-Sep-20 19:10:15

This afternoon I was browsing at my library and picked up a random book from the donations shelf by an author I'd never heard of. Not a topic I'm interested in particularly. It didn't appeal, so I put it back down. This evening, FB has given me an advert for the exact same edition of the random book, published quarter of a century ago. Given that there are about a million books published a year, that's a one in 25 million chance. How TF did creepy FB know what book I'd picked up?

OP’s posts: |
tillytoodles1 Sat 26-Sep-20 19:21:32

I was talking to my daughter about a book I was reading. Next thing adverts started popping up for riverboats through the Everglades, which was what they were doing in the book.

TweetUsOnFacebook Sat 26-Sep-20 19:21:59

I don't know but I'm nosey and want to know what the book was smile

FraughtwithGin Sat 26-Sep-20 19:26:14

I do not know about Faceache, but last year my sister and I were taking in her sitting-room and all of a sudden her kitchen Alexa started playing music - nothing either of us would have chosen. She thought it was her IT geek husband, who was abroad for work at the time, trying to annoy us, but no.
Anyway I returned home (not UK) and then started getting adverts, on anything I looked at online, for cycling holidays in Austria. We had been discussing cycling holidays and holidays in Austria.
Bizarre.

SheWranglesRugRats Sat 26-Sep-20 19:31:36

Anne Fine, Diary of a killer cat :-) I didn’t even say anything, literally picked it and put it down.

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GwenCooper81 Sat 26-Sep-20 19:35:53

I had my phone in my hand at the corner shop recently. Browsing lunch box bits and pieces. Then I had adverts for lunchables and something else. I hadn't bought anything. Didn't talk about it, just literally had my phone in my hand with the camera facing down wards.
We have Google minis and the other week I swear it read out a text message as I was typing it ( I was in the garden. Dh heard it in the kitchen and was life WTF??).
No help but did you have your phone anywhere near the book?

SheWranglesRugRats Sat 26-Sep-20 19:46:15

It was in my back jeans pocket.

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Wildswim Sat 26-Sep-20 19:50:09

Google read what we type on our phones. I don't notice it so much with ads but do with the news stories it curates for me.

Wildswim Sat 26-Sep-20 19:51:31

Facebook is creepy. It's currently developing software that can read thoughts. I'm not joking.

SheWranglesRugRats Sat 26-Sep-20 19:52:33

Yes but this was an actual book, not something I looked up or anything. A totally random book someone put on the donations shelf, I picked up and put down in under ten seconds.

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Breakupcharlie Sat 26-Sep-20 19:55:16

I know phones listen.

Today my mum arrived with her overnight bag. She said it was my late grandmothers old knitting bag. She said I should learn as it’s a dying tradition and I said I don’t have time/really rubbish when I tried before.

Afterwards I went onto fb and the first ad was ‘learn how to knit in 6 short sessions’.

SheWranglesRugRats Sat 26-Sep-20 20:01:55

I didn’t even say the title or anything, I was alone.

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hm246 Sat 26-Sep-20 20:10:36

I recommend the social dilemma on Netflix. Looks at how FB and other social media’s work. 👀👀

BlackLetterDay Sat 26-Sep-20 20:16:36

It's creepy af I swear often the ads/curated shit is mocking me hmm

BikerChick91 Sat 26-Sep-20 20:27:11

I was at work and joked to the client I was working on “Do you need help disposing of the body?” as she’d brought a MASSIVE suitcase into the consultation room (she was going on holiday straight after).

After she left, I was horrified to get targeted ads on Facebook for “Extra Large Bin Bags”, rubber gloves and bleach and spades and paving blocks. Literally as soon as I got on my phone when she’d left. I’d never had any ads like that before (and the same was happening on YouTube), all my ads were clothes or “clear blue ovulation kits”. It was like FB really thought I’d killed someone and was trying to hide a body. How sick/gross is that? Would they not inform the police if they genuinely thought this?

BikerChick91 Sat 26-Sep-20 20:28:14

I mean all my ads previously had been clothing/cosmetics/ovulation kits!

Smallsteps88 Sat 26-Sep-20 20:36:01

My son has a cold and came out of bed yesterday evening to tell me his face was sore. I said “maybe your sinuses are blocked.” Less than 15 seconds later I flicked from MN to Fb on my phone and the page refreshed, top of the page was an advert for sinus decongestant medication.

TapingTheTop40 Sat 26-Sep-20 20:40:01

On a similarish note

My DH went on to a suit website

Then immediately all my Facebook adverts were for that suit website

FourPlasticRings Sat 26-Sep-20 20:42:50

Probably coincidence. I imagine it knows you've got kids/work with kids/are interested in kids' books and that one just happened to pop up.

I do think any discussions had in FB messenger are used to inform ad preferences on Facebook though.

LadyLoungeALot Sat 26-Sep-20 20:52:29

When we tap about certain things at work, and I go on facebook on my phone/later, I get adverts for them.
I think something listens to us. I'm not normally a tin foil hat person, but... it's happened too many times.

CatPeach Sat 26-Sep-20 20:58:05

Facebook/Instagram/Google have all admitted listening. You can turn off the microphone on the app to stop this...

Doesnt explain the OPs situation though! That is weird.

SheWranglesRugRats Sat 26-Sep-20 21:07:53

Mystery possibly solved: my mate reckons it was the scanner on a book selling app I have on my phone. Though still not sure how it scanned a book from my back pocket hmm

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binkyblinky Sat 26-Sep-20 21:11:22

I've met Anne fine!

TitianaTitsling Sat 26-Sep-20 21:14:11

Is it not it can use the camera to 'see' as well as microphone to listen? You do have to give permissions for that to use the app!

happinessischocolate Sat 26-Sep-20 21:26:33

I used my phone to pay in a shop and the card reader was the other side of some thick pexi glass, a denim pocket would be no barrier. Interesting to know that could be the answer.

My son bought a pull up bar, I suggested him googling the best way to start using it and five minutes later .....

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