Does Facebook Know Every Site I Go To?

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First page I open in the morning is Facebook to see if I have any notifications from any of my Magic friends. Then I open the WF OT, MtG Salvation and Gearslutz in that order.

Throughout the day I go to various music related sites. Sometimes I'll go to Ebay to maybe look for a certain Magic card.

Yesterday, as an example, I went to a Waves site to look at their EQs.

Today on Facebook, first thing, I see an ad for a Waves EQ.

Every time I go to Ebay to look for a Magic card, I see an ad the next day or even later in the day with a picture of that card on the side of Facebook with some caption like "Take One More Look?"

It is obvious that Facebook is tracking my movements. But how? I'm not linking to these sites from the Facebook page itself. I'm opening up another tab.

What the heck is going on?
  • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
    If you're using Firefox, there's a plugin called Do Not Track Me which stops that kind of thing happening.
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    So that blind people can hate them as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by whateverpedia View Post

      If you're using Firefox, there's a plugin called Do Not Track Me which stops that kind of thing happening.
      I'm using Google Chrome. I don't really like Firefox as much. It seems to have a problem with some of the sites I go to. In some areas Firefox is better but not enough for me to switch over.

      I just wanted to understand what the heck was going on here. It was like Facebook was reading my mind or something. lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
    It's not just Facebook. If you pay attention, you'll notice ads following you on numerous sites you visit.

    The process is called retargeting:

    Ads Following You Across Internet - Business Insider
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  • Profile picture of the author WalkingCarpet
    Banned
    Just delete ur Facebook account.
    Back in the day when we were but monkeys there was no Facebook. True Story.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by WalkingCarpet View Post

      Just delete ur Facebook account.
      Back in the day when we were but monkeys there was no Facebook. True Story.
      Deleting my Facebook account is not an option. I have several play groups that I keep in touch with to know what's happening at our Magic the Gathering events. Yes, real people who I know and see in real life. Can you imagine that?

      Plus, my daughter, who now lives in Long Island and I rarely get to see, is on Facebook.

      No, not an option.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rick Rodd
    Just be careful not to fall into paranoia, steven. Does it help you to clear browsing history from time to time? This might be one of the possible reasons for this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nate Simms
    I've always wondered if retargeting is done with the concept of prioritizing which advertisement will show based on the potential income to be made per click/sale?

    In Steve's case, with MtG, I am sure there is more profit potential in selling MtG material through retargeted advertisements, then there is advertising to him regarding the GearSlutz forum.

    Or is it completely random simply based on your browsing habits?
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Nate Simms View Post

      I've always wondered if retargeting is done with the concept of prioritizing which advertisement will show based on the potential income to be made per click/sale?

      In Steve's case, with MtG, I am sure there is more profit potential in selling MtG material through retargeted advertisements, then there is advertising to him regarding the GearSlutz forum.

      Or is it completely random simply based on your browsing habits?
      For me, it appears to be totally on browsing habits. Some stuff I have seen ads for even after buying the darn thing. For example, I just recently purchased a Keranos and the day after I saw the ad for the same card. So obviously they either didn't know I made the purchase or didn't care. Maybe they thought I'd buy another one. No clue what they're thinking but it does appear to be based on browsing habits and not "didn't purchase so let's see if we can get him to" criteria.

      Of course I am only guessing here.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    If you really don't want to be tracked, and I don't particularly, I use Ghostery and Noscript. They work very well to block trackers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sumit Menon
    Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

    First page I open in the morning is Facebook to see if I have any notifications from any of my Magic friends. Then I open the WF OT, MtG Salvation and Gearslutz in that order.

    Throughout the day I go to various music related sites. Sometimes I'll go to Ebay to maybe look for a certain Magic card.

    Yesterday, as an example, I went to a Waves site to look at their EQs.

    Today on Facebook, first thing, I see an ad for a Waves EQ.

    Every time I go to Ebay to look for a Magic card, I see an ad the next day or even later in the day with a picture of that card on the side of Facebook with some caption like "Take One More Look?"

    It is obvious that Facebook is tracking my movements. But how? I'm not linking to these sites from the Facebook page itself. I'm opening up another tab.

    What the heck is going on?
    No one can really know for sure but it might be using the Like or Share button on these websites.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Let me clarify something. I'm not so much complaining about this as wondering how it's done, which has been explained. Fascinating technology.

      Personally, there are times when I don't mind this so much. I've been shown lots of ads for gear that I was quite interested in. The downside is I don't have the money to get everything I want and have to discipline myself. But it's nice to be kept up to date on the latest releases as far as music production software goes. The Magic stuff I really don't need as I'm pretty much on top of that market already. But I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

      In the grand scheme of things, it's not the end of the world. But I was totally baffled as to how they knew what I was interested in when I never went to any of these sites directly from Facebook.

      Curious as to how the technology actually works.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    If the page has a Like button, and you're signed into Facebook, then Facebook knows you visited it. If you're signed out of Facebook they do not (at least not yet - they are only tracking activity for signed in users at the moment. But they do have the data where they could link it up if they wanted to).
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Will being signed into Facebook override browsing incognito, and using the plugins or scripts which have been suggested?
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    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Michael
    I use Ghostery, Do Not Track Me (now known as Blur) and MaskMe.

    Really good things to have.
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