Facebook has always denied the use of smartphone microphones to pick up audio from people in real life conversations, and then use the data for advertising purposes.
Last week Facebook vice president of ads, Rob Goldman, said on Twitter that the tech giant was not and had never carried out the practice.
“It is not true,” he wrote on twitter in response to a call for stories of people occasions, when it was believed that it had happened.
Given the amount of online advertising that people see every day, there is a strong argument that it is pure coincidence – that maybe the ad has been served before unnoticed and is only now noticeable due to a relationship discussion.
However, there are those who are convinced that they have experienced. Here are some of the stories they told us.
We saw the wedding announcements before we announce our commitment
“My girlfriend and I had a wedding announcements the day after we got engaged, before that he had said to anyone,” said Nate, of Springfield, in the united states.
“We purchased a ring on the spur of the moment, and never saw anything.
“And until two weeks ago my girlfriend and I went to a friend’s house and drank a certain type of liquor that none of us had ever purchased or speaking on the phone, and the next morning was the first announcement of Facebook showed him.”
My headset keeps connecting to my phone
“In 2016, I lost the hearing in my right ear. They gave Me a “made for iPhone “hearing aid compatible”, said Jon, in the united states.
“This meant I could take calls, stream music, et cetera of my new hearing aid.
“Every time the phone connected to the hearing aid, it would not be an audible change, as a small click, because it would be a change of streaming in the world that surrounds me, the audio of the hearing aid.
“This worked in reverse too, with a microphone.
“In both the Facebook Messenger for iOS and the main Facebook app, I’d like to hear that click, the flipping over of the source of audio for my headset, sometimes unexplainable, even when I had audio of the applications of the disabled.”
My funny career appeared in an ad
“Just last week I went to my job, and I was sitting with my friend and have a chat about the direction in which I was going to go,” said Lindsey, in Lincoln.
“I said,” I like coffee, I could end up at Starbucks so I can drink more coffee.’
“The next time I checked my Facebook on my phone, [I saw] a Starbucks ad as they were holding an open event in London to find new staff.”
Trash storage suddenly appeared after a chat
“I recently had a very strange and disturbing experience with some of the advertising that is felt like more than coincidence, after a voice call on WhatsApp,” said Olivia, Austin.
“I ran into a friend who lives in London and she told me a story about how their new owner bought an outdoor storage shed for their bins (a product which I think is rather exclusively British).
“We had a good laugh about that, and I said what I needed something similar here in Texas.
“The next day as I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I came across an ad for Wayfair the advertising of a storage shed for containers outdoors and was immediately taken by surprise.
“Prior to our conversation in the past, this was not a product that I didn’t even know existed.”
Two mattresses announcements in five minutes
“Discussed this in a bar with some friends… to try and settle the debate, we have a random type of product from another table: a new mattress,” said Justin, in Atlanta.
“As I had not purchased, sought, or even thought of a new bed in several years and could not remember to have seen a mattress online ad ever, we started talking about the beds and mattresses and to guess the key words, as the slip of ‘California king’ and ‘buy a mattress online’ in the conversation, while intermittently shifting facebook.
“Two mattresses announcements in five minutes. None before that conversation.”
The ads appeared in English
“I work in the mobile phone industry and I’ve noticed this happening more and more in recent years,” wrote Michael, of Grimsby.
“To put it to the test I started learning Spanish on Duolingo, and within a day I had ads for normal products in Spanish! It was absolutely amazing”.
Safety in the home became an ad
“I visited a friend who was the creation of security cameras in your house,” Melissa, Australia, wrote.
“I have never used the internet to view anything remotely linked to the security of the household, however, less than an hour after talking about how to set up the cameras, I had a Facebook ad of home security cameras.
“My phone had been in my pocket all the time.”
View ads, but I have perfect vision
“Once, my friend was over and he talked about that he needed a Lasik eye surgery,” said Austin, of Tigard, Oregon.
“Immediately after, I went on Facebook and a Lasik advertisement appeared.
“I have perfect eyesight, never have wanted Lasik ever before.”
Killer Bug I had never seen before
“I saw a product in the school called the Bug-a-salt salt firing of a gun, used for killing flies,” said Peter, “something I had never seen before, nor have I searched for any related products.
“That night I was telling my wife about the product in a personal conversation.
“The next morning after the conversation with my wife about the product, my Facebook was opened with an ad for Amazon with the Bug-a-salt fly killer gun appears as ‘things that you may be interested in’.”
What has happened more than once
“I have experienced several cases of ads that refer to a conversation that I had or had done,” said Faris, of Cairo.
“I was talking with my wife about a second child, and that day there were ads related to the topic.
“We talked about a friend’s brother who had died, and immediately one of the guys that were talking about found ads for undertakers.
“We were talking about the possibility of a theme park Six Flags was opened in Egypt, and on my Facebook that night were the ads for Six Flags.”