Proof! Evil Facebook Could Be Secretly Listening to You Right Now?
I am not a conspiracy theorist and I work very hard to come up with logical explanations for things that look, well...a bit fishy. This time, however, I feel like I'm head-first in the rabbit hole as I'm convinced social media is spying on my conversations.
Let me explain so you don't think I'm nuts.
My son came downstairs and said, "I want to get a larger mattress," and we began discussing the best deals and value on mattresses locally. Then my wife popped in and added that my daughter also needs a new mattress. The conversation ended with me saying that I'll start doing some research on new mattresses, and then we ate dinner.
This is where the crazy begins leading me down the road of the big conspiracy.
I began finishing dinner and serving it up and my wife went on her Facebook on her iPhone. That's when she said, "You're not going to believe this but I now have mattress ads all over my Facebook timeline." I was dismissive. Then she added, "Now there's one on my Instagram!" Sure enough, there were 3 different ads on her social media trying to sell her exactly what we were just talking about.
It's one thing if we had been searching mattresses on Google, but we hadn't. We had only just spoken about it for the first time in the privacy of our humble abode.
The first ad referenced a great deal on a Zero Gravity Sleep Mattress. It just so happens that we were talking about getting a good deal. But, it's the second ad that was creepiest. "Wait, are you about to buy a mattress," the add asked! It was an ad from the Mattress Advisor, a head hunter service that makes commission by sending potential customers to businesses which subscribe.
I have to reiterate, we never Googled anything about a mattress and this is the first time we spoke about it.
According to Business Insider, "Facebook has been clear that it does not use the microphone in your device to listen in on your routine conversations or to target advertisements. ... "Facebook does not use your phone's microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed." But wait, there's more...
Business Insider recommends that people actually go into the settings and under Facebook, turn off the function that gives it access to your microphone and camera. The same should be done for Instagram, Twitter, and especially Tiktok, which the Feds have claimed that China was using to spy on us.
So here's the big question: was the "use my microphone" option turned on in the settings for Facebook on my wife's phone? Yes, yes and yes for Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok.
The problem is, if you turn the access off, you can't post to these social media sites, which defeats the purpose of the application in the first place. Now you're left to trust these big social media companies when they tell you they're not eavesdropping on your conversations.
As for the ads that coincidentally showed up on my wife's feed? I guess it's just that, a coincidence.
To check your iPhone to see if you've given access to social media, follow this path and select the social media site to see. If you don't want too give them access, shut it off.
Settings > scroll all the way down to each individual app, and then click on it. This is what you'll see: