You Can’t Handle the Truth About Facebook Ads, New Harvard Study Shows
The paper inadvertently offers an answer to a crucial question of our time: Why won’t Facebook just level with us? Why all the long, vague transparency pledges and congressional evasion? The study concludes that when the data mining curtain is pulled back, we really don’t like what we see.
There’s something unnatural about the kind of targeting that’s become routine in the ad world, this paper suggests, something taboo, a violation of norms we consider inviolable — it’s just harder to tell they’re being violated online than off. But the revulsion we feel when we learn how we’ve been algorithmically targeted, the research suggests, is much the same as what we feel when our trust is betrayed in the analog world.