Via a flurry of Twitter posts today, I learned through Mashable that a man who'd been surfing Facebook recently had an ad pop up that showed a photo of his wife, along with a caption that urged him to contact local hot singles today. Luckily both members of the married couple have a good sense of humor, as the wife blogged about it. (Note: page worked earlier today but hasn't for the past two hours).
How could something like this happen? Easy. Facebook sells ad space to various companies, allowing them (if your profile settings show its ok) to access your data as well as your friends list to provide supposedly contextual and highly-targeted marketing messages. I've had several friends tell me they'd seen my photo in similar ads, but I thought it had something to do with this blog or [my Facebook fan page](http://clk.about.com/?zi=1/1hc&zu=http://www.facebook.com/inbox/#/pages/Bonny-Albo/39145835028?ref=ts) and thought nothing of it. After reading the Mashable piece however, I went and changed my settings.
If you don't mind your face showing up on your friends' Facebook pages along with a similar caption, you don't have to do a thing. But if you - like me - would rather your face not used for advertising purposes, then log into your Facebook account and do as [Download Squad](http://clk.about.com/?zi=1/1hc&zu=http://www.downloadsquad.com/2009/07/16/facebook-sez-dont-mind-us-were-just-whoring-out-your-photos/) suggests:
"All you have to do to prevent this is sign in to Facebook and click through to (get ready) -> Settings -> Privacy -> News Feed and Wall -> Facebook Ads -> Appearance in Facebook Ads and click 'no one.'"
I'll admit this isn't a Facebook issue, but rather what paid advertisers are using the data for. And this isn't a new tactic either; years ago when I was an active member of [Lavalife](http://clk.about.com/?zi=1/1hc&zu=http://dating.about.com/od/sitereviews/fr/lavalife.htm), I had numerous friends tell me they'd seen my photos plastered on the dating site and in online advertisements in a similar vein. Thing is, I knew this was a (remote) possibility, as Lavalife requires its users to choose whether or not they'd like their photos used in advertising materials.
Do you care if your likeness is used on Facebook to sell online dating ads? How about at an online dating site that you already belong to? Why or why not?
[Facebook Shows Married Man His Wife's Picture In Dating Ad](http://clk.about.com/?zi=1/1hc&zu=http://dating.about.com/b/2009/07/17/facebook-shows-married-man-his-wifes-picture-in-dating-ad.htm) originally appeared on [About.com Dating](http://clk.about.com/?zi=1/1hc&zu=http://dating.about.com/) on Friday, July 17th, 2009 at 17:32:50.
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