Thursday, September 25, 2014

Some websites pulling back from their Facebook connections because of visitor tracking

The Wall Street Journal, in the Marketplace pages, aired a big story by Reed Albergotti Wednesday, “Websites wary of Facebook tracking: Some online retailers and publishers curb flow of user information sent back to social network”, link here.  The article explains in detail both cookies and pixel tags.
It’s possible to put the Facebook “like” infrastructure on your site (and put up similar hooks for Twitter and other media).  The end result is that Facebook gets more information about your users and may target ads to them. 
I have not chosen to do this with any of my flat sites or blogs.  I have been criticized as backward in the past for my disinterest in it.  But I don’t want visitors to work about privacy this way (although my flat sites do offer server logs that can identify IP addresses of visitors – and I actually looked into these once, in late 2005, after an incident when I was substitute teaching – explained on July 27, 2007 here). 
It is possible to add pixel tags to Wordpress and Blogger blogs, but I haven't elected to do this.  

I do forward my tweets to my Facebook and to the home page of my “doaskdotell” flat site.  
My blogs (on “Blogger”) do have code associated with ad serving (as explained in the “Privacy Policy” at the bottom of the blog page).  I have generally reduced the use of third-party gadgets, which look clever, but which have been flagged a couple times by Webroot as possible security hazards. 
In the meantime, I am more concerned about finishing my content (making my music “playable” by professionals, getting my own videos made, and promoting a screenplay or two) than with retailing and advertising schemes.  

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