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Thread: I smell a rat online

  1. #1
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    I smell a rat online

    I have a Patreon for the podcast and I decided to register an account on Reddit for my podcast listeners (as the two sites are linked). When I registered, Reddit suggested a few accounts for me to follow. AND they had pre-subscribed to FOUR accounts already.

    This week I have googled and looked up some stuff relating to Bill Burr, Weezer, South Park and a very funny streamer called Sips. Please note I have not looked at anything related to these topics either EVER or for many months.

    Can someone explain to me why these topics appeared as pre-subscribed? I don't log in to anything when I use Google or YouTube.

    Jesus.

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.


  2. #2
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    Were the 4 pre-subscribed topics somehow related to your web searches?

  3. #3
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    Yes. Does that mean Google own Reddit?

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.


  4. #4
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    It's unfortunate but quite common nowadays. There are many legit companies (some quite large) that aggregate and store your viewing habits based on different types of cookies, profile of the device used (Windows, Mac, Mobile, Laptop, Browser, etc.), ip of device and various other attributes and web properties that leverage these vast repositories to figure out your preferences. As you go to new sites and your machine shows up in their repository and is a match to your previous viewing habits, you automatically are suggested new content that matches your previous viewing patters.

    In EU countries, there's GDPR that can be leveraged to clean up your past history.

    If you don't want them to know who you are, use a anonymizer, do a regular cleaning of your history (daily?), use incognito mode on your browser, TOR or various combinations of tools. Also, don't use Chrome as a browser

  5. #5
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    Guess I'll GDPR their ass then.

    Chrome sucks and I never use it... TOR I never use either because it is so painfully slow.

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.


  6. #6
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    Convenience comes at a price

  7. #7
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    Search engines make money from selling advertising revenue. This means on the back end they collect search criteria for various users to define different "markets." Anyone can access these with a google ads account, so they can ensure that their listings are getting in front of people who might be interested in their product. The cable company does the same thing with television. Radio does the same thing with any information they glean from "call ins."

    For advertisers this means they can ignore certain audiences and focus their ad spending on targeted markets. IOW, they aren't peddling lingerie to nuns, or rubik's cubes to people on a hunting website. It also means that you'll only see ads for things you've already shown interest in. Social platforms use these same API metrics to help you see likable content as soon as you log into their site, for a more pleasing user experience.

    As an advertiser, I know nothing about you. I simply tell Google what kind of shoppers I might be looking for, and they put my content in front of those IPs. The rabbit hole goes a bit deeper than that, but on the surface, that's what it is. It's not about identity theft, it's about marketing and revenue. Why else would someone devote tens of thousands of man-hours to make the best search engine? Things cost money, and that money is always recouped as long as people want things.

  8. #8
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    I get the tracking thing... just freaky that a specific website know about activities on other websites.

    Donít let the delusion of reality confuse you regarding the reality of the illusion.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Awani View Post
    I get the tracking thing... just freaky that a specific website know about activities on other websites.

    Set up that way to track conversions. If google is tracking a page, say, with an ad or a link that someone wants to monitor, they can see where you clicked in from, and where you clicked to. I can actually tell them to track pages that aren't even mine if they link from my website. They have another mission too though, to make the best possible search experience for the user. That's the reason that so many photos on this site show up on alchemy searches. I've spotted my own contributions on numerous occasions in the picture results.

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