back to article Facebook rolls out full-page ads, website complaining Apple is forcing it to get consent before tracking you

Facebook is running full-page ads in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post today stating that Apple's privacy permissions overhaul in iOS 14 will be allegedly "devastating to small businesses." The antisocial network has also gone as far as creating a mini-site to campaign for the claimed benefits of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, isn't it sad?

    Not!

    1. macjules
      Unhappy

      Re: Ah, isn't it sad?

      In other news: burglar complains that householder refuses to unlock house for him.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Ah, isn't it sad?

        More like burglar complains that householders will now have the option to refuse to put all their valuables on show, preventing SME burglars from targeting the most lucrative "customers".

  2. Andy Non
    Facepalm

    "campaign for the claimed benefits of personalized advertising"

    Nearly fell off my chair laughing. Facebook - personalized advertising? What a joke. While Facebook knows very little about me, it does know my approximate age (70) and my gender (male). So why do I get adverts (occasionally sneaking past my adblocker) for Botox treatment for my lips? Is there something about my 70 year old peers I don't know about?

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: "campaign for the claimed benefits of personalized advertising"

      I would guess that that Facebook gets paid by the Botox clinics for every view they generate. So they use whatever excuse they can generate to deliver more ads. In this case by overlooking your age and gender. If they need any excuse at all, it might be that more people than average in your postal code go for the pouty look.

      The people that are being taken to the cleaners are the advertisers.

    2. JetSetJim
      Mushroom

      Re: "campaign for the claimed benefits of personalized advertising"

      I see very few ads on FB, but they've recently taken to inserting video ads into the various inline videos that appear in my feed (presumably with the permission of the authors of the videos, as they're typically trying to monetise). No real objection on my part beyond them not respecting the video audio settings and just blast out at max volume - IIRC you're not allowed to do that on TV and it's very annoying when you've got things set on quiet (headphones or speakers) and then have to reach for the mute button, or yank the headphones off (I wonder if there's a possible issue with being able to damage hearing with this configuration?)

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: "campaign for the claimed benefits of personalized advertising"

        > if there's a possible issue with being able to damage hearing

        Cue the ads for hearing aids...

        1. JetSetJim
          Facepalm

          Re: "campaign for the claimed benefits of personalized advertising"

          icon -->

      2. MrBanana Silver badge

        I see very few ads on FB

        I see very few ads on Facebook - because I don't use Facebook, it's that simple

        1. JetSetJim

          Re: I see very few ads on FB

          arguably a better approach

  3. Someone Else Silver badge

    Somebody call a Waaah-mbulance!

    Facebook is running full-page ads in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post today stating that Apple's privacy permissions overhaul in iOS 14 will be allegedly "devastating to small businesses."

    Boo-fucking-hoo, Zuck!

    Don't know that many truly small businesses "thrive" on targeted ads after paying the vig to Zuck. But I am sure that the necessity to opt-in to Zuck's and others' incessant tracking will be a boon to the product...er, targets...er, (dammit!) consumers whose desired "user experience" does not include being marketed at 24/7.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Somebody call a Waaah-mbulance!

      I do tend to avoid doing anything to attract so-called targetted advertising, including using blockers where appropriate (ie almost everywhere!!), but the only targetted adverts that might be called "local" that I recall ever seeing have been of two types. The ones which add some random nearby town into a national or international advert for a product that isn't actually supplied locally, or the "There are 25 women in $town looking for a good time" type of ads. I don't think I've ever seen actual local adverts for local businesses just happen to appear on some web page due to any form of targetting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Somebody call a Waaah-mbulance!

        The ones which add some random nearby town into a national or international advert for a product that isn't actually supplied locally, or the "There are 25 women in $town looking for a good time" type of ads.

        I get those too, except they're not even local. I've had a static IP for years, yet these adverts always seem to be offering me services in either North London, or Durham. And I'm not driving that far for a good time. Or an eye test. Wait, maybe Cummings is on the same ISP as me.

        1. TimMaher Silver badge
          Happy

          Cummings in Durham?

          Nah... it’s the Pink Panther.

      2. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Somebody call a Waaah-mbulance!

        > I don't think I've ever seen actual local adverts for local businesses

        Nobody has ever seen any real local adverts for local businesses, AFAIK anywhere in the world. Despite localization being very easy to target: No matter if your prey target doesn't fit the usual targeting "assumptions" on sex, gender, interests, needs, the food outlet down his/her/its street will always be relevant, everybody needs to eat.

        "Targeted advertising" is just a scam, it's just an excuse to sell ad space for more money ("Yes, we're more expensive, but then again your product will reach those who really want it, no waste.").

  4. LDS Silver badge

    Positive side...

    ... Facebook had to pour money into newspapers.... hope they asked for a lot of money.... although they bent to misinformation publishing those lies. Should those ads fall under "deceptive ads" - if in the US exist anything like that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't the papers in Australia...

      Get money from Facebook for linking to the content, so they pay twice?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Positive side...

      "deceptive ads" - if in the US exist anything like that

      Are there any other sort?

    3. Wade Burchette

      Re: Positive side...

      Since Facebook's misinformation was published in American newspaper, nobody will notice because all the news is misinformation too. The local news, the cable news, the newspapers -- all of them, without exception, are full of misinformation and outright lies.

      To me, the real issue is how these people can deceive others so much and then sleep well at night. If I lied and deceived others as much as the news media, and now Facebook, does, then my conscience would tear me up every single night.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Positive side...

        > how these people can deceive others so much and then sleep well at night

        Dollar bills are very comfortable to sleep upon...

      2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: conscience

        Come on... Facebook proved many years ago that their decision makers are out and out sociopaths with absolutely zero conscience between them. They'll quite happily lie, cheat and manipulate anyone, over anything, if they believe it will help their bottom line.

    4. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Positive side...

      [...] although they bent to misinformation publishing those lies.

      So now we know what was discussed when Zuck hobnobbed with tRump al those times. He was being trained.

  5. DS999 Silver badge

    That tweet showing the multipage scroll is damning

    And I don't buy their small business argument anyway. A restaurant doesn't need to use Facebook's exabytes of personal information to effectively advertise. Typically they'll want to run ads using basic stuff like home address, age range, and marital status: who is close enough to us to visit, who is in the age range and marital/kid status that is our target demo. All publicly available information that Facebook doesn't need a massive tracking operation to utilize. They don't care if someone is a member of QAnon groups or is a Bernie bro, if they watch anime or true crime on Netflix, etc.

    Exactly what small businesses need to know which posts someone interacts with, what "interests" they have selected, location info stolen from their photographs, what web sites they click on, what keywords they use their status updates and forth. Not one I ever want to do business, that's who!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That tweet showing the multipage scroll is damning

      "All publicly available information"

      Where is that available?

      1. Psmo

        Re: That tweet showing the multipage scroll is damning

        Where is that available?

        Pastebin.

        1. Antonius_Prime
          Joke

          Re: That tweet showing the multipage scroll is damning

          Could always file an FOI request with the NSA for their own data...

          XD

      2. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: That tweet showing the multipage scroll is damning

        At least in the US if you google a person's name you can find links to places like instantcheckmate.com, nuwber.com etc. that give you some information about the person like their age, address, and phone number. A lot of government records for stuff like home ownership, car registration, voter registration and so forth is public record.

        Those public records aren't made easily accessible since every state/county does this differently but companies will take the time to set up something to scrape that info, then make some information available to people googling. They use it as a come on to charge you some money for a "background check" into that person which will use other public information like arrest records, court records and so forth.

        If you have a really common name like "John Smith" and you can't narrow the location of that person down beyond "they live in the Chicago area" you probably can't find them, but for most people you can find out where they live along with some past addresses for free, and more if you pay.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Why does **** want to know all this stuff

      about me?

      I see that and switch into alias mode.

      I reply as if I was a 38-24-36 Blonde, 24 and into threesomes or stuff like that. Naturally, I use a throw away email and the wrong phone number (using a non existant area code does the job).

      I rarely even think about using that site/service/restaurant etc ever again. I'll also leave a comment to that effect after the fact.

      If they want all this stuff they really can't expect people to be honest. Just asking for the minimum will probably get the most accurate set of responses. Beyond that and there is some fun to be had...

      One day... perhaps... they will see that asking for even more invasive data is self defeating.

      As for Apple, keep on going. Anything that gets Zuckface in a tizzy can't be all bad.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why does **** want to know all this stuff

        "a 38-24-36 Blonde, 24 and into threesomes"

        That shows clearly and beyond all doubt that you're a male! That kind of creatures only exist in male fantasies.

        Targeting verdict: "male, straight, horny", cue ads for escort services and little blue pills...

  6. sinsi

    The irony of Facebook paying for an untargetted ad to spruik the benefits of targetted ads.

    Why didn't they take out a Facebook ad since they work so well?

    1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      Why didn't they take out a Facebook ad since they work so well?

      Maybe because they are not a small business? Just a theory...

  7. Terafirma-NZ

    If they do actually care

    If they care about small business then why don't they make organic content trending work again rather than limiting it forcing people to pay. Heck it may even have the side effect of cleaning up the absolute d\trash dump that Facebook has become.

    Or maybe I do just need to put $250 into Netflix shares and earn an income so I can work less....... Heck lets go all out and put in $500 so I can have that same supercar in the add.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "benefits of personalized advertising"

    What benefits? Let's see: telling me where I can buy more of something I've just bought? Nope. Telling me about suppliers I have used? Nope. Telling me about stuff I have already looked like and decided not to buy? Nope. Telling me about stuff a bit like any of the above but not actually like any of them at all? Nope. Telling me that People in (close geographical location) are going mad for (dumb item or product that is so shit it can't sell on its own merit)? Nope.

    It goes on and on.

    Personalised ads are an utter irrelevance.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "benefits of personalized advertising"

      What benefits? Let's see: telling me where I can buy more of something I've just bought? .... Telling me about suppliers I have used?

      You need to ask "Benefits to whom?"

      It may not benefit the advertiser. It does, however, benefit the advertising industry that sold the ad to the advertisers.

      What's mere, the advertising industry most definitely doean't want to know you already bought that or used that supplier. They want to be in a position of being able to prove they don't know it. If anyone should ever turn round and accuse those selling such advertising as being fraudulent they want plausible deniability.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > telling me where I can buy more of something I've just bought?

      I bought a new car last year (I like compacts, and make them last for at least 5 years before considering changing), and receive spam from the dealer every two weeks with new, can't-miss offers of cars from the same dealership. Can't be more targeted than this. I talked to the dealers' manager about how irritating and pointless that is, and he sheepishly mumbled something about "the central office does the marketing". I decided to block it for the next four years, just in case.

      Since I am in extended rant mode, what about ads like "this is the secret that doctors don't want you to know" and similar, that combines false advertisement, clickbaiting and spam in one convenient package?

      1. MrBanana Silver badge

        "combines false advertisement, clickbaiting and spam in one convenient package?" - that's the real secret they don't want you to know.

  9. paduan
    Boffin

    Custody of my eyes

    I consider myself relatively immune to advertising - it's vanishingly rare that I'll actually click on an advert - but that's because I'm a stubborn as a mule old(ish) fart these days and I already know what I like and what I don't like, so advertising has little impact on me. Nonetheless, I'm as happy as happy can be that Apple wants to stymie the incessant vacuuming up of personal data by organisations such as Facebook. Cambridge Analytica showed just how, in unscrupulous hands, this sort of data can be used to manipulate people when you know exactly who it is that you’re manipulating. Apple, while very (VERY!) good at making money, does so the old fashioned way: by making products and linked services that are good enough to promote brand loyalty (or at least tie-in). They don’t need to manipulate people into buying stuff. You might say they’re actually a very old fashioned sort of company at least as far as ethical behaviour is concerned. I suspect Facebook's ad may turn out to be more of a Facepalm.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Custody of my eyes

      The only time I ever "click" on an ad is when I go to click something I want on a page and the page suddenly moves the content as it is still drawing and the ad moves under my finger. At this point, I swear and hit back.

      Not on my home PC due to ad blocker.

    2. sabroni Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: I consider myself relatively immune to advertising

      Exactly the kind of punter they love

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I consider myself relatively immune to advertising

        Exactly the kind of punter the advertising industry wants the mugs to believe they should love.

        For avoidance of doubt "mugs" refers to advertisers. They are the sole market to whom the advertising industry sells and the only products the advertising industry sells are advertising and valueprice-added services such as targeting that goes with the advertising.

    3. Proton_badger

      Re: Custody of my eyes

      > I consider myself relatively immune to advertising

      Most people says the same and it's an argument often heard. That's because people don't know how ads and brand awareness work on our subconscious. Once an ads has flashed by your eyes, or has been heard, a little something remains and we're quite helpless against it. After that, clicking through is just an occational bonus for the advertisers.

    4. MrBanana Silver badge

      Re: Custody of my eyes

      After buying a single item of clothing for my wife I started getting targeted adverts for similar things. I found that once you click through a number of these then the algorithm thinks you are interested in such stuff. I now find it much better to look at page filled of women in slightly scanty clothing that the normal "boys toys" crap I would otherwise get - I have had a beard for 40+ years, why would you be trying to sell me a 7 blade razor?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Where do you start?

    An advertising company whose business model is based entirely on cynically breaching citizens' privacy by taking advantage of other companies' lack of action to protect it, is whining because another company, whatever their other faults, is finally taking steps to protect that privacy.

    Fuckerberg's arrogance is breathtaking.

    The icon indicates what should be done to Facebook.

  11. Blackjack Silver badge

    Hey Facebook!

    You are not a small business!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Hey Facebook!

      But if all us techies take the time to explain to others just exactly what facebook is, and the alternatives to them, perhaps we can collectively turn them into a small company.

      The journey of 1,000 miles begins with but a single footstep ...

      1. don't you hate it when you lose your account

        Re: Hey Facebook!

        Unfortunately so many users seem to be running so fast backwards they can't hear the advice, but still we try

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Hey Facebook!

        Yes, the weasel excuses for continuing to support Faecebook expired years ago. There are better ways, and continuing to use Faecebook is lazy and unethically.

      3. TimMaher Silver badge
        Unhappy

        The journey of 1,000 miles....

        ....will be tracked, analysed and sold.

      4. Mike 16

        Journey of 1000 Miles

        I thought it started with a single camel's nose under the tent.

  12. Just an old bloke

    Couple ousf points re FB

    1. Their ads provide a dreadful ROI, no idea why people use them.

    2. If you must use it, and there are some interesting groups available, use a burner email and make all your personal data ridiculously inaccurate.

    3. Use a tight browser, FB hates Duckduckgo, Firefox do a decent job of blocking social trackers.

    And then there is Google - far more insidious than FB.

    1. Rafael #872397
      Paris Hilton

      > 1. Their ads provide a dreadful ROI, no idea why people use them.

      I'd guess there's a bit of "we need to advertise because the competition is doing it!" mentality -- perhaps one bright, young, relentlessly perky graduate from a marketing school "consulted" on those small companies on how they could increase profit?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Their ads provide a dreadful ROI, no idea why people use them."

      There are two answers to your musing.

      1.. The advertising industry is very good at selling. What they sell is advertising to advertisers.

      2. They have willing accomplices in their market place. The marketing departments in their customer base have a direct interest in placing advertising, it's their living and their departmental budget. The advertising industry will feed them with metrics to let them show how well they're doing. Such metrics will never, of course, show how much money has been wasted targeting those who've already made a one-off purchase of the product or who are so pissed off by the adverts that they'll go to some lengths to avoid that advertiser.

    3. albertfandango

      Sadly most people don't know, don't care or both, and the inhabitants of this comments page are not good examples of wider humanity. Yes, I have an in-home DNS server blackholing FB, WhatApp & Instagram requests for almost all devices and browser adblockers on top of that but that's *really* not normal.

      Until small organisations stop using it a the primary method of comms it's just going to be there. Just for my kids' school there are three separate "official" FB groups as a primary method of communication with parents, and god knows how many WhatsApp groups on top of that.

      We'll see what, if anything, falls out of the US anti-trust suit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >Looks out of window. Sees humanity<

        Don't want nuffin to do with that lot.

  13. CrackedNoggin

    "Facebook data shows ... the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend"

    =>

    "Facebook data shows ... Facebook revenue will drop 60%"

    YEAH!

  14. Marty McFly Silver badge

    Hahaha

    Facebook advertising in the Legacy News Media. Could anything be more desperate?

    1. Mike 16

      Re: Hahaha

      Hey, Marty, steer clear of 2020 next time you take out the Delorean.

  15. Aussie Doc
    Windows

    Wow

    "...it simply requires they give users a choice."

    I spat cider through my nose when I saw that.

    Sorry for the visual.

  16. FrankeeD

    Targeted Advertising is Good for a Laugh

    Facebook's targeted ads regularly provide amusement. I liked a comment by my nephew where he was discussing racial differences and ended with something along the lines of "we all bleed the same colour of blood" which resulted in an ad from a blood donor clinic in my feed. I posted a 20-year-old photo of my son when he was 6 and promptly got an ad for a Montessori pre-school. The most bizarre ad came after I was looking at hiking boots on a local outdoor store's website, which for some reason resulted in the appearance in my feed of a product called "Go Girl - Pink", a device that allows women to pee standing up - interesting, but not so a pressing need.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like