TikToker TJ Mills said he was talking to his partner about VR game arcades and how there aren’t any nearby.
Ad for VR appeared on user’s account the day after speaking about it[/caption]
Yet the next day, when scrolling through Facebook, his other half noticed an ad for a VR arcade in Birmingham, where they live.
“Is Facebook listening?” he asked followers on TikTok.
“Is Facebook listening to our conversations?
“Or is it just me? Nah, that’s weird. They’re listening, shh… be quiet.”
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It’s not the first time Facebook has been accused of snooping on people’s conversations.
Last year, we heard how an American coffee shop owner spotted ads for oat milk after a conversation she had about the dairy alternative.
But it’s actually nothing more than an urban myth.
People have speculated for years whether companies like Facebook are spying as they chat.
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There has never been any solid evidence – beyond hearsay and anecdotes – that the social media giant is recording conversations.
Can Facebook listen to your conversations?
Facebook has repeatedly denied the claims, highlighting that it bases the ads you see on your interests and information from your profile.
A number of independent investigations have found no evidence that the US tech titan secretly listens to its users.
Experts say that, while Facebook hoards plenty of data, it’s extremely unlikely that the company secretly records hundreds of millions of people.
The key point is that Facebook doesn’t have to.
It knows enough about you from your browsing data and profile information to target you with very specific ads.
In TJ Mills’s case, it’s quite likely he and his partner’s apps have worked out what interests them based on their internet searches and other browsing online.
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Facebook is able to build quite a detailed picture of what makes us tick, so here the algorithm cleverly targeted them with an ad on VR arcades nearby.
Like many claims of Facebook hijacking phone microphones, the appearance of the ads was purely circumstantial.
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