How To Stop Facebook Ads
If your Facebook ads seem incredibly relevant, it’s because Mark Zuckerberg’s omnipotent social media platform is more familiar with your likes and dislikes than you think. Worryingly, perhaps more than your real friends and family.
This is because Facebook loves to follow your behavior, from recording what you post on friends’ timelines to how you react to other shares. Remember that every click, like, and website you visit makes up your online profile. Based on this behavior, Facebook accurately tailors your news feed specifically to your needs so that you stay on the site even longer.
Too bad that this never-ending source of personalized news, online content and relevant ads comes at a price: your privacy.
Pro tip: If you prefer keeping your browsing private, we recommend using software that blocks trackers and encrypts your traffic via VPN. Download Clario and discover all of the above tools and more with a free 7-day trial option.
Ultimately, Facebook cares about the all-important revenue it generates from its users and targeted ads. That’s why it doesn’t provide an easy way to remove tracking and ads completely.
However, here are some tips to help you protect your privacy on the platform, get rid of the more unsuitable ads and hopefully stop Big Brother from watching your every move.
How to get rid of Facebook ads that fail to meet your preferences
While you cannot stop ads in bulk, you can block individual promotional posts. Here’s how to hide Facebook ads.
Click the three dots button in the top right corner of an ad as soon as Facebook shows you something you don’t want to see.
Select Hide Ad if:
- it is too personal
- you have already purchased the promoted product
- it “knows too much” about you
- it covers a sensitive topic
- it is repetitive
- it is irrelevant to you
Select Report Ad if you find the ad to be:
- sexually inappropriate
- prohibited content
- false news
- related to a political candidate or issue
You can also select Other if there’s no relevant option in the list. Facebook will remember your choice and won’t show you the specific ad again. Clearly, this won’t decrease the number of ads you see, but at least they will be more relevant.
How to block Facebook ads that are too personal
Another way to make Facebook advertisers respect your privacy is to customize your profile settings to make ads less personal.
- Click the tiny triangle in the top right corner of your Facebook page, then select Settings.
- Select Ads from the left panel.
- Click Your Interests. We recommend removing all interests from your profile, but this is up to you. If you prefer to see ads related to technology or knitting and find them to be useful, then let them stay.
- Click Your Information and adjust the categories that apply to you. Remove those you don’t want to feature on your profile. These can be your age, education, relationship status, or more specific information, such as whether you are an iPhone owner or frequent traveler.
- Click Ad Settings to allow or prohibit using the so-called “data from partners”. If you allow it, Facebook will use your browsing history from other websites to show you more relevant ads. If you don’t allow this, then you won’t necessarily see less ads, but they will only be based on your Facebook activity.
There’s one thing you should be aware of: if you don’t allow the partner information to be used, Facebook will still retain the data it has on you. However, it will stop using the information to show targeted ads.
- Click Hide Ad Topics to specify any topics you want to avoid altogether. For some reason, Facebook suggests quite a strange set of topics to ban: it can be alcohol, parenting, or pets.
After adjusting these settings, Facebook ads in your feed will reveal significantly less about your personal life.
How to block ads on Facebook with a third-party ad blocker
Overall, Facebook’s way of generating money through targeted ads leaves much to be desired.
While the inbuilt opt-out mechanisms are far from perfect, you can use a third-party ad blocking software like Clario to not only block Facebook ads, but also block adverts on other websites too.
Here is how you can block ads with Clario:
- Download Clario
- Sign up for a 7-day trial (no credit card required)
- Go to Browsing > Ads and pop-ups
- Install the extension to Safari or Chrome
Enable extension whenever needed, or keep it on permanently