Why targeted ads are bad (it has to do with design)

I had a brief discussion with Rian van der Merwe on Path about Facebook’s latest ad targeting update. I asked him why better targeted ads are so bad? If you accept that ads are a cost of using Facebook, surely more relevant ads are better? His answer surprised me and I had to think about it a little to really appreciate his point:

This is why the “Well, what’s wrong with better ads?” argument doesn’t hold water. It’s not that I want to see less relevant ads (or no ads at all). It’s that I don’t want a company’s design decisions to be driven by a need to get as much data out of people as possible (as apposed to how to meet their core needs better).

Read the rest of his post titled “The real problem with Facebook’s ad targeting move” for his complete perspective, it’s worth it.


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