So Facebook is eavesdropping on its app users. No I’m not kidding. It’s very creepy and now I’m paranoid. Who else is listening through my phone microphone???
Shortly after I read that Forbes article I had a creepy experience of my own. I was having a very intense debate about the uniforms in Star Trek TOS, as one does, and I mentioned that I always refer to them as “tunics.” At the time Hot Topic had them on sale for an extremely low price and I wanted a Star Trek science blue tunic of my own. My roommate’s position was that that wasn’t the correct name for the uniform and back and forth we went hashing out our Very Serious difference of opinion.
So basically… tunic. Tunic tunic tunic. Tunic? TUNIC TUNIC! The word was said A LOT during that discussion.
And then two days later THIS pops up on my Facebook timeline:
First of all, I’m not a trendy or fashionable person. This is just not my style. I do not wear tunics. I’m a t-shirt and jeans girl with the occasional hoodie or sweater (weather dependent, because Hawai’i does not lend itself well to sweater weather). Had they picked up the words “Star Trek” I would have been much less likely to take notice as I currently follow several Star Trek pages on Facebook and frequently write reviews for the new series. But no, that’s not what happened. It picked up the fashion part of the conversation and tried to sell me clothing I would never wear.
According to Snopes this assertion is “Mostly False.” Apparently Facebook DOES use the microphone, but only for the music and TV portion of the app. But my question to that statement is, how did Facebook pick up on tunics – a rather obscure garment of clothing that I would not wear – only two days after having a conversation about it? Or why are there dozens of videos on YouTube of people using equally obscure items to test the theory (and having positive results)? How are these ads being tailored to us without us doing anything that would cause them to store cookies of this information?
Right now I believe this theory. I’ve experienced it as have tons of other people. If believing it makes me a “conspiracy nut” well then so be it. This is just too bizarre.