Signal wanted to run ads on Instagram putting it all in your face
It’s no secret that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp collect a fair bit user data. But how much exactly? A new blog post by the makers of Signal, the open-source secure messaging platform, shows that it’s quite a lot.
“You got this ad because you’re a newlywed Pilates instructor and you’re cartoon crazy,” reads one ad that Signal had planned to run on Instagram. “This ad used your location to see you’re in La Jolla [a San Diego suburb]. You’re into parenting blogs and thinking about LGBTQ adoption.”
That’s a shame, because as Harada explained in the blog post, “the way most of the internet works today would be considered intolerable if translated into comprehensible real-world analogs, but it endures because it is invisible.”
“Facebook’s own tools have the potential to divulge what is otherwise unseen,” he added. “We wanted to use those same tools to directly highlight how most technology works.”