Some fear a certain class of social networkers may soon be outed by advertising algorithms as, at least allegedly, Facebook is now able to determine if you’re gay, according a recent study at the Max Planck institute in Germany.
While this particular doomsday scenario seems over-exaggerated, it seems according to a CNN report that even the most discreet users may be prone to clicking on ads that subtley give away their sexual preference.
The premise is that Facebook can ‘remember’ the ads a user decides to click on. From there, they can potentially use that collected information (probably sold at a premium) to aid future advertisers — effectively outing even its most private users to online corporations of the most heinous kind.
So how does Facebook work out if you’re gay?
It’s one thing to be clicking on the scene at gay bars and clubs but it’s another thing when you start pressing the ads for things like nursing programs. Because one must assume correctly that all male nurses are gay…
According to Andrew Noyes, a Facebook representative, “Facebook requires targeted ads to be directly related to the information they relied upon for targeting (so, theoretically, the ads for gay bars would be allowed while the nursing-school ad would not).”
Which of course brings in the deeper issue at stake here: the rigidity of our socially established gender roles, and masculinity especially? It’s no secret that it’s unmanly to feel any emotion other than, well, greed and apathy. Therefore it can only make sense that any man should click on an ad for a nursing program must be inherently gay, even if he doesn’t know it yet…