One of the things we all hate about Facebook is the constant ads on our feed.
But what’s worse is if these ads are inappropriate or dirty!
Imagine using FB somewhere public like in the office or a bus and one these ads come on and other people see it!
They’d probably assume you are into this stuff – and this really embarrassing if you know them.
In this post, I’ll shed some light as to why you are getting inappropriate ads on Facebook (even though you never search for them) and 3 ways on how to stop them.
Do give these a try before you decide to uninstall Facebook!
Why Am I Getting Inappropriate Ads On Facebook?
Here are some of the main reasons why your Facebook feed is full of inappropriate or dirty ads:
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Advertisers Targeting And Retargeting
Another reason you might be getting inappropriate ads on Facebook is due to advertisers targeting YOU.
They don’t exactly target you, but people that are the same age, location and have similar interests as you. This is called the target audience.
So it might be nothing you did that makes these ads show up – It’s just the advertisers spending a ton of money and targeting a large number of people.
If by any chance you interact with this ad (like tapping on it or even staring at it for some time without opening) – it lets Facebook know you are interested in this type of content and show you more of them.
Plus, the same page can now retarget you with the same ads.
Hacked Ad Accounts
Hacked ad accounts are a largely common issue on the platform and is a major reason why you are getting inappropriate ads on Facebook.
These hackers can gain complete access to an advertiser’s Facebook account (via phishing attacks, malware etc..). Once they get a foothold in their ad account, they can exploit it for various means with malicious intent.
The hackers can change your ad campaigns, change payment information, or redirect funds to themselves.
A lot of these hacking incidents tend to mainly promote things such as inappropriate ads, scamming users, and distributing malware in order to obtain more accounts to use for their exploits.
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User Data Collection
The other reason why you get inappropriate ads is through your user history and activity.
Facebook collects user data for ads through various means. Personal information on your profile such as name, age, gender, email address, etc. are all collected as they can be used to create personalized ads depending on your interests and preferences.
Facebook also monitors your online activity on the platform including, but not limited to, likes, comments, and shares, in order to deliver better suited and more personalized advertisements.
Facebook has also been known to use tracking technologies like cookies to gather data about your browsing behavior outside of its platform.
This allows Facebook to provide targeted ads based on the websites you tend to visit and the apps you use outside of Meta.
Visiting websites that have illicit content like nudity, gore, and harassment will also be collected as information for your data profile that is made by Facebook for advertising purposes.
Furthermore, Facebook collects data on you from third-party websites and apps that have partnered with its advertising services. These websites and apps share your information with Facebook, enabling the platform to deliver better personalized ads.
How Do You Stop These Inappropriate Ads?
There are a handful of ways you can use to prevent inappropriate ads from appearing on your feed. But it’s ultimately up to Facebook’s algo.
Click On Other Ads
The best and most effective way to stop inappropriate ads on Facebook is to click and engage with other ads like crazy.
Facebook’s ad targeting algorithms rely on user interaction in order to determine the relevance of ads. When you click on other ads, Facebook thinks you like them too and starts showing these.
If you do this every day, Facebook will eventually stop displaying explicit ads.
A simple way to try and reduce the amount of inappropriate ads on your feed is to report it.
But there is a downside – first you need to click on the ad to report. This may send a signal to Facebook that you are interested in these ads.
To be honest, reporting has never worked for me. Anyway it’s worth a shot!
Here’s how to report an ad on Facebook:
- Step 1: Open the ad you wish to report and click on the three-dotted menu (…) on the top right of the post.
- Step 2: In the pull-down menu, select Report ad.
- Step 3: A pop-up window will appear asking you for a reason.
- Step 4: Select the reason as to why you reported the ad, and click on the blue Done button at the end of the window.
The same steps can be followed on the mobile app version of Facebook as well.
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Update Ad Preferences
As another alternative you can update your ad preferences in order to get fewer inappropriate ads on your feed. Here’s how to access your ad preferences:
- Step 1: Go to Facebook.com and sign in.
- Step 2: Click on your profile located at the top-right of your screen.
- Step 3: Select Settings & Privacy > Settings.
- Step 4: Click on the box located on the left-side of your screen with the title of Meta Accounts Centre.
- Step 5: When the Accounts Centre page loads, select Ad preferences located on the left-side of your screen.
In Ad preferences you are able to access your Recent ad activity, Advertisers that you’ve seen, Ad topics and Ad settings.
What Should You Change In Ad Preferences?
In Ad preferences there are only two major sections you will need to engage with, them being;
1. Advertiser’s That You’ve Seen
In this section you are able to review three options;
- Advertisers you’ve seen most recently : Allows you to see the most recent ads you have come across on the platform and have quick access to hide them.
- Advertisers you’ve hidden: Allows you to review hidden advertisers and manage them, unhiding them if necessary.
- Advertisers whose ads you’ve clicked: Allows you to see and manage every advertiser you have clicked on throughout your time using the platform.
You can use these three options to review and hide any inappropriate ads you come across in one place to make things easier and less time consuming.
2. Ad Topics
In this section you are able to view and manage ad topics that advertisers can use to target you with.
Simply click on an ad topic or locate a specific one through the search bar and choose to See more, See less, or have No preference.
You can also review which ad topics you have chosen to See more of and topics you have chosen to See less of, via the two tabs at the bottom of the page.