Facebook Knows If You’re Liberal, Conservative, or Moderate

The Facebook logo displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia on May 16, 2012. Facebook says it’s cracking down on online gun sales, with a new policy that bars private individuals from advertising or selling firearms on the world’s largest social network, on Jan. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Facebook apparently has its own determination for users’ political leanings, based on their activity on the website: liberal, conservative, or moderate.

This information was made easier to find with its new ad preference tool. To find out what Facebook thinks your political leanings are, go to www.facebook.com/ads/preferences. After that, click on the “Lifestyle and culture” tab, and there should be a box called “US politics,” which will include the political leanings. You can remove it by clicking on the X in the top right corner. If the “US politics” section doesn’t appear, click “See more” under the boxes.

According to the New York Times, Facebook determines one’s political views based on the pages they like. For example, if one likes a page for Hillary Clinton, Facebook might classify them as a liberal, or if one likes Donald Trump’s page, it might classify them as a conservative. But even if one hasn’t liked Clinton or Trump’s page, Facebook will determine one’s political standing based on the celebrities, movies, TV shows, and other things that one follows.

However, it might not be all that accurate. A staff member with the Epoch Times, who is white, checked their ad classifications and it labeled them as “Ethnic affinity: Asian-American (US).” The staff member also doesn’t own a smartphone or tablet, but had the classification “Smartphones and tablets.”

According to the Times, this information is used by advertisers for paid promotions. Trump’s presidential campaign has paid for ads for Facebook users labeled as “moderate.”

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