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Leaked Documents Reveal Facebook Targets Emotionally Insecure Teens

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Asif WILSON Khan, May 2, 2017.

  1. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Facebook's marketing department is using algorithms to identify emotionally vulnerable and insecure youth as young as 14, The Australian reported today after reporters managed to get their hands on a 23-page report from Facebook's Australian office.

    The document, dated this year and flagged as "Confidential: Internal Only," presents Facebook's advertising capabilities and highlights the social network's ability to detect, determine, and categorize user moods using sophisticated algorithms.

    The leaked file, authored by two of Facebook Australia's top execs is a presentation that the company is willing to share with potential customers only under a "non-disclosure agreement only."

    Facebook using algorithms to categorize emotional states
    In it, Facebook reveals that by monitoring posts, photos, and interactions, they can approximate a person's emotional state into categories such as "silly," "overwhelmed," "anxious," "nervous," "defeated," "stressed," "stupid," "useless," or a "failure."

    Facebook claims that it can identify not only emotions and state of mind, but also how and when this changes in real-time and across periods of time.

    While this was to be expected from a company as advanced as Facebook, the document reveals the social network won't shy away from using its algorithms against youth as young as 14, data which it then makes available to advertisers, so they can target teens that feel insecure or are emotionally vulnerable.

    The social network is using these points to lure in advertisers to its network, alluding it could help in targeting users, including young teens, in their most vulnerable states when most people tend to buy products and make themselves feel better.

    The document specifically mentions Facebook's ability to target over 6.4 million "high schoolers," "tertiary students," and "young Australians and New Zealander [...] in the workforce."

    Facebook confirmed validity of leaked document
    Contacted by reporters, Facebook admitted the document was real, apologized, and said it would start an investigation into the practice of targeting its younger userbase.

    Current privacy laws allow companies to collect data on users if its anonymized and stripped of any personally-identifiable information, such as names, precise addresses, or photos. Facebook said it respects privacy laws, but reporters said Facebook is in breach of the Australian Code for Advertising & Marketing Communications to Children, an advertising guideline which states that advertisers must get permission from the child's parent or guardian before collecting any data.

    Facebook, who currently boasts of a total monthly active userbase of over 1.85 billion, is the second online advertisers behind Google. A recent report revealed that Google and Facebook are cannibalizing 99% of all the money in digital advertising, and have established a de-facto duopoly.

    In 2014, news broke out that Facebook meddled with people's news feed algorithms to test if it could influence people's moods.

    Update [May 2, 2017]: Facebook has issued an official statement.


    SOURCE: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/ne...-facebook-targets-emotionally-insecure-teens/
     
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  2. LukaB

    LukaB Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Doesn't come out as much of a surprise. They have the capability, smart to use it to your advantage (as long as it isn't affecting emotionally unstable kids negatively). I wonder what else they're analyzing.
     
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  3. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    My guess is everything.
    FB and Google have so much data that I am sure that stories like this are just the tip of the iceberg.
     
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  4. Aluminium

    Aluminium Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Marketing in 2017 is wild - the advancements that we're seeing is immaculate. I've seen ads where I've gone "huh, I've talked about that in real-life.. but never searched it up?".

    I wouldn't be surprised if they were tapping into our microphones for even more information; but I don't want to come off as crazy!
     
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  5. xIRaTeD

    xIRaTeD Regular Member

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    Disgraceful... The world is just a big business at the end of the day (Y)
     
  6. LukaB

    LukaB Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Absolutely. We're slowly transitioning into an age of personalized marketing. Marketing based on age, race, income, weight/health and so forth.

    We already have plans to make unique landing pages based on such info and show females on the LPs to female visitors, males to male visitor and so forth. Might not seem like much of a conversion increase in terms of %, but 10% on for ex $1m/Year is another $100k. Combine things and you'll get it up even more.

    Luka
     
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  7. yrazec

    yrazec Newbie

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    I'm not surprised...People, especially young people put so much personal information about their day to day lives on FB that it makes it too easy for them to do this. Unfortunately nothing will come from this expect FB making more money from these users.
     
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  8. I know SEO

    I know SEO Marketplace Mod Moderator

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    Have you seen the alt tags they use on users images?

    That will creep you out.
     
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  9. Debian

    Debian BANNED BANNED Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I'm sure they do this on every imaginable (and unimaginable) topic.
     
  10. Skyebug77

    Skyebug77 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    They place your interests in the alt tags. I really dont like FB, though they are showing how to monetize every aspect of a website. Personally I dont post as much personal stuff in fb anymore. Just mostly share news stories and stuff now days.
     
  11. I know SEO

    I know SEO Marketplace Mod Moderator

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    I like the fact they put it there though...

    So easy to scrape.
     
  12. rafark

    rafark Regular Member

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    But what's the problem? At the end of the day Facebook is just trying to understand its userbase and treat them according to the needs/characteristics of each group.

    You know I'd prefer to see ads that interest me rather than generic ones, if we are forced to have ads.
     
  13. Nut-Nights

    Nut-Nights Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I am feeling stressed. Not sure what to do.
     
  14. aqibarif74

    aqibarif74 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I would like to post this to my facebook. But i can't you know why :D
     
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  15. pressrelease

    pressrelease Power Member

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    Thankfully i dont have a real fb account, only fake account for pure marketing.
     
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  16. Setox

    Setox Regular Member

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    I tought they are doing this a long time ago !
    The last "real" personal account i had on facebook was Back in 2008/2009 With the nickname "Badass Sloth" & with some 3days grace wallpapers . I wasn't active a lot of time as I used to spend my days downloading demo from the Old TomsGames , anyone remember it ?
     
  17. Setox

    Setox Regular Member

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    Psycho War against teens minds ?!
     
  18. hay706

    hay706 Junior Member

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    Creepy as.

    Random photo from my facebook feed.

    alt="Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, shoes, night and outdoor" width="480" height="480"

    It was spot on.
     
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  19. rafark

    rafark Regular Member

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    Wow it is indeed weird, but what's weirder is that it seems to be written for human consumption, rather than for a computer parser. One would assume it would need to be written for the later.
     
  20. rafark

    rafark Regular Member

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    By-the-way: where were you, at the club with your girl-friend?