I have a Facebook rule I almost always follow: Don’t post anything political, ever. The few times I’ve broken that rule, I’ve instantly regretted it.
But it seems those few times — or the omniscient Facebook algorithm — were enough for the social network to determine my political views. And if you’re a Facebook user, the company has labeled you, too.
You can see where Facebook thinks you fall on the political spectrum, thanks to a handy trick identified by The New York Times. Visit Facebook.com/ads/preferences and look for the U.S. Politics box in the “Lifestyle and culture” tab under “Interests.” In parentheses is Facebook’s best guess at where you stand.
Facebook uses labels, like political preference, to determine the most effective ads to show users. Advertisers pay to target ads to people in different demographics with specific interests.
“We use information from a few different sources to figure out which ads might be relevant and useful to you,” the company says. “Things like your Facebook profile information, activity on Facebook and interactions with businesses can all influence the ads you see.”
Read “Liberal, Moderate or Conservative? See How Facebook Labels You,” for the New York Times‘ take on why this kind of targeting matters.