Facebook’s Reaction May Be Compromising Your Internet Security
Belgian Police are warning Facebook users not to use Facebook’s Reactions feature if you want to avoid handing Facebook more personal information in advert targeting.
Belgian Police said the new option, introduced back in February on Facebook, will be used to gauge the effectiveness of adverts on users’ profiles.
“If it appears that you are in good spirits, Facebook will infer that you are receptive and will be able to sell advertising space by explaining to the advertisers that they are more likely in that way that you will react,” the police said in a statement. “One more reason therefore to not rush to click if you want to protect your privacy”.
By allowing users six different emotional responses to react to a post, which the social network calls “Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry”, Facebook’s algorithms are able to measure your reactions more effectively.
Hovering over one of the six options animates them – the “Haha” face laughs, for example – and removing your thumb on your cellphone or clicking on desktop selects that particular reaction.
Facebook has been working on different ways to represent more complex emotions ever since launching the “like” button in 2009. Many people will want to express sympathy on a status about a relationship breakup or family tragedy, for example, but not to approve of the event with the like button.
The company has acknowledged how data gathered from user emotions represents key marketing opportunities for businesses, and as benchmarks for brand loyalty.
“We see this as an opportunity for businesses and publishers to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook,” it said. At present, it registers any reaction the same way it does a “like”.