It's been a rough year for Facebook. Their stock has plummeted as they bat off scandal after scandal - fake news, Russian bots, fake advertising - but the most recent drama may have a bigger impact on you personally than you know.
This most recent scandal unearthed operations that affect what you and I do online every single day. What we read, the ads we see, and in many cases the opinions we form.
In simple terms, Facebook has been sharing your data with third parties who use it for their own personal gain.
And this isn't just your email address or the school you went to. They have contact details of your friends friends. Details about people in your life that have never even used the site.
Wondering why you constantly get bombarded with ads for meditation/athleisure gear/dating apps?
You can find out by downloading all your Facebook data, and it's surprisingly easy to do.
On your profile page, go to Settings. At the bottom of the list, you'll see 'Download a copy of your Facebook data'
You'll be brought to this page
Choose Download Archive (make sure you have sufficient space on your desktop). You'll get a zip folder that looks like this
Then, the fun/scary part. You can see what ad topics you are being served and even what advertisers have your contact details
A quick scan through the folders will show just how closely Facebook is monitoring your online behaviour.
Let us know if you find something really strange - [email protected]