Apparently, Facebook has come to its own conclusions about your political preferences, courtesy of your very own social media activity.
Ranging from "liberal" to "moderate" to "conservative," the largest social media network in the world labels your political attitudes and utilizes the information for targeted advertising.
How does the site classify you? Find out by following these steps, which work best on a desktop computer:
1. Log onto your Facebook account
2. Click on this link: facebook.com/ads/preferences
3. You're currently on a page that displays your ad preferences. Locate the "Interests" category and click on the "Lifestyle and Culture" tab
4. Find the "US Politics" box. Can't see it? Click the "See more" button below all the boxes.
5. In parenthesis, right by the "US Politics" box, find Facebook's categorization of your political leanings (liberal, moderate or conservative)
We assume you have a few questions following this jaw-dropping discovery, so let us help out with some answers:
How does Facebook come up with my categorization?
The social network takes into account any political preference that you made public on your profile and any page you've liked (for example, following the network's algorithm, if you liked Hillary Clinton's official page, you might be considered a liberal).
What if I purposely stayed away from liking any candidate's and any political party's page?
Facebook also considers what people who like the same pages as you like. For example, if you like the official Stranger Things page and other people that like that show are identified as conservatives, you might be classified as a conservative as well.
Why am I only finding out about this feature now?
Facebook's battle to collect as much information as possible about its users has long been chronicled, so this isn't exactly news. However, the site recently re-designed its ad preferences page, making it much easier to decipher various classifications.
Why would anyone care about my political leanings?
Advertisers pay Facebook to show their ads to specific demographics. This is also true about political campaigns. This is called targeted advertising.
What other likes and dislikes of mine is Facebook tracking?
Just about everything. You might actually want to browse through that ad preferences page and edit those boxes—let's take control of the advertising we see!