Twitter Are Releasing a Tool That Lets You Change How Advertisers Target You

Simon Owens
Targeting advertising can be regarded as many things, depending on your perspective; a leap forward in technology, a necessary evil, an annoying side-effect of social media or a gross invasion of privacy. Whatever you think of it, it's hard to argue with the fact that it's not exactly fair on the users who are targeted.

Ever the exemplars of equality, Twitter have now taken steps to rectify that. In an upcoming update,  users will be given a new set of privacy settings which will allow them to see and alter the way that they are targeted by advertisers. Basically, you'll be able to see your demographic, interest areas and which advertisers have you placed in their tailored audience zone. You'll then be able to modify this by opting in and out of various categories, according to a blog post Twitter put out on Wednesday.

To find this feature (which is already being rolled out to users on a staggered basis), you have to go into the 'Your Twitter Data' tab under settings. Near the bottom lies the 'interests' section. It's split into two distinct categories - 'Interests from Twitter' and 'Interests from Partners'. The former shows you what Twitter thinks you want to see more of, based on your activity, and the latter shows you which companies are targeting you for personalised ads. It's here that you can switch all that off.

In order to do that, you need untick everything under the 'Personalisation and data' banner, or at least untick the categories that you want to opt out of. Even after doing this though, you'll still be on advertisers' lists, and wriggling out of that is a bit more complicated. There's a link underneath the 'Tailored audiences' subheading which will give you a list of all the companies which have your Twitter name. With that, you can then set about asking each individual company to strike you off. I did say it was a bit more complicated.

Really and truly, there's no way to completely extricate yourself from ad tracking on social media, unless you, well, quit social media, but features like these ease the pain somewhat. More to the point, they allow users more choice in how their data is used, and more transparency. Regardless of how much it actually affects your experience on the platform, it's encouraging to see Twitter being so open with their user base.

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