Is Facebook Keeping Track of Whether You're Liberal or Conservative?

If you’re still among the many that haven’t let Facebook’s latest controversy deter you from using its services, you may be intrigued or possibly alarmed to learn that your political views are among the many things it records.

Recently, Facebook came under fire when a connection was made between the use of profile data by a political data analytics firm and the network’s lax privacy policy regarding third-party applications. In 2015, Cambridge Analytica (CA), which worked closely with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, was found to have harvested data from millions of users to create targeted marketing. Though it was against Facebook’s policy to use that data for marketing purposes, CA’s acquisition of said information fell within terms that were in place at that time. What followed the revelation was a rash of users that deleted their Facebook.


Among the information that Facebook compiles on its users, political alignment may be among the sneakiest. In fact, chances are much of the user base has no idea that the social networking site even determines whether you’re liberal or conservative. Based on your activity, including which pages you follow, Facebook scales your political leanings on a scale of very liberal to very conservative.

To see what Facebook labels you as, you’ll need to do some digging. From a desktop computer, go to facebook.com/ads/preferences and click on “Your Information.” From there, click “Your Categories” and look for “US politics.” To the right of that, in parenthesis, you’ll see either “very liberal,” “liberal,” “moderate,” “conservative,” or “very conservative.” You can also find it on the Facebook mobile app by accessing your settings (through the hamburger menu in the bottom right-hand corner). In settings, click on “Account Settings” and scroll down to “Ads.” Click on “Your information” and “Review and Manage Your Categories.”

It should come as no surprise that social media websites compile information about their users' likes and dislikes. If you need more evidence, just look at the ads that come up. Chances are they’re for a product you’ve searched for recorded via your browser’s cookies. The political affiliation label is directly linked to the ads you see and can be turned off if you prefer advertisers not take whether you’re liberal or conservative into account. To do so, click the “X” that appears when you hover over “US politics.”

Was Facebook’s predicted political leaning accurate? You can also view others details that are considered when advertisements are filtered out to you, including your birth month, the type of network you access Facebook on, what email provider you use, and far more specific things like whether you know a woman with a birthday within the next seven to 30 days.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Questions continue to be raised about the mental and physical health of President Donald Trump.

Slurred or rambling speech has been caught on camera at MAGA rallies and other presidential events.

Keep reading... Show less
Fox News

The House Judiciary Committee voted Friday morning to bring abuse of power and obstruction of Congress articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the House floor for a full vote.

The Democratic House is expected to vote in favor of the articles as well, officially impeaching Trump and putting him on trial in the Republican Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is already sparking concerns about the trial's fairness with comments he made Thursday night on far-Right Fox News host Sean Hannity's show.

Keep reading... Show less
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images // Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Bend Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg got an awkward shoutout from President Donald Trump, who's nicknamed the candidate "Alfred E. Neuman" after the Mad Magazine character.

It happened at the President's recent rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Keep reading... Show less
Mark Wilson/Getty Images // DC Comics

"Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos..."

Heath Ledger's Joker says this in 2008's The Dark Knight but it could also apply to the presidency of Donald Trump. From defying subpoenas, introducing sweeping policy changes to his own staff through tweets, fostering a revolving-door administration, abruptly deserting allies, and, of course, the ceaseless bullying.

The President and the Clown Prince of Crime have both been agents of some degree of chaos.

So it may not come as a surprise that the Joker joins the campaign of a Trump-like character in the latest issue of Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child.

Keep reading... Show less
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote in favor of articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Friday, teeing up a full House vote for next week.

The move comes after weeks of hearings with Republicans shouting in defense of the President and against the efforts to hold him accountable for soliciting foreign assistance in an election.

Keep reading... Show less
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images; Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has some experience with impeachment. While her husband Bill was President, the Independent Counsel investigation led by Ken Starr probed every aspect of her life before and during her time in the White House as well as her husbands.

While Starr failed to find any criminal wrongdoing by the First Lady, he did after his four year investigation discover her husband's extramarital affair with a White House intern.

Keep reading... Show less