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  1. DiscoMacaque

    DiscoMacaque Member

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    How do I ask Google to stop torturing me?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by DiscoMacaque, May 19, 2015.

    I have generally blocked web history, cookie storage, and other features that would make me an easy target demographic, but somehow some very strange things have slipped through the evil Google cracks. Now, whenever I'm browsing I seem to get ads for one of the following two things:

    1. A debilitating phobia I have--I used to search for images of it to try to desensitize myself. It didn't work! And now, I see those images in unrelated ads on the sides of countless pages. It never ceases to give me the heebie jeebies.

    2. Treatments for a very unpleasant disease that a family member of mine suffered from. The ads say things like, "Do you suffer from debilitating pain caused by [this disease]? Does it feel like being strangled by barbed wire?" It's not something I want to be reminded of daily!

    I don't want the internet to know everything about me--but maybe there's a survey I could fill out somewhere that says "Instead of ads about this, I'd love to see some about puppies!" or something.

    Any advice would be great : )
     
  2. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Adblocker. Also, are you sure it's Google because there are a dozen web crawlers out there.
     
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  3. Ben414

    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Use DuckDuckGo for your search engine. (It doesn't track you.) It's not as good as google or bing, but it can probably get the job done for most of what you want.
     
  4. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    lol :rofl: that's rather unfortunate. Considering how private you seem, I'm surprised the internet got hold of two really rather personal things about you! I was gonna suggest you start clicking on some cute-looking ads in the hope of making the Internet think you're interested in something else lol.

    But I dunno. I don't see any ads really... The only time I see ads is probably on FB.
     
  5. Stacy C

    Stacy C Banned

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    AdBlocker will remove most of those, but may prevent you from seeing some content that you actually want to view. An alternative search engine like the one @Ben414 mentioned should work, too.
     
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Yeah, AdBlocker, NoScript, FlashControl, Privacy Badger, Ghostery, or other anti-tracking extensions for Firefox.
     
  7. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That was my thinking. As I understand it, Google tailors the ads to what you look up the most so the more ads you look up on a particular thing, Google's going to get the hint and make recommendations. So let's say I start looking up pregnancy sites (for writing purposes, say...I'm writing about a pregnant MC), Google's going to assume I'm (1) a woman and (2) pregnant due to the sites I visit. It then decides, 'Hey, let's give this possibly pregnant mother some ads for consideration', scans through the infinite list of ads/sites about pregnancy and show them to me regardless. It doesn't know whether I'm just doing it for research, has no idea when it's time to stop. All it would know is that according to my browser history, there was a butt-load of sites regarding pregnancy and worked with that.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
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  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    And, if you use Gmail, I believe Google also uses your email contents to tailor ads for you via an automated process. A person doesn't go through your emails, but their software may pick up on keywords and tailor the ad content accordingly.
     
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  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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  10. 123456789

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why don't you just google it?
     
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  11. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Delete your cookie history completely. You'll see entirely new ads you don't want to see.
     
  12. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Funny that you quoted me and talked about pregnancies. I was just looking up the difference between cots, cotbeds, co-sleepers and a crib... I'm still not sure what the difference is... :bigfrown:

    You know, there was a time when my FB showed me only ads in Czech - presumably cus I have a Czech IP address. I thought that was a pretty poor advertising fail, considering most of my feed exists in English... I don't speak Czech so those ads were lost on me lol - Chinese would have been far more effective.
     
  13. DiscoMacaque

    DiscoMacaque Member

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    Thanks for all this advice, everyone! I have a lot of great ideas to try now.

    @Mckk, if I use Youtube I only ever get ads for videos in Spanish. I'm kind of proud of that because I barely speak any Spanish : )
     
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  14. Bryan Romer

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Make sure you log out of your Google account. They also have an option to delete your personal information on the Google databases. Google it :)
     
  15. DiscoMacaque

    DiscoMacaque Member

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    In an extremely unusual twist of events, all my ads today are related to bitcoin mining, a practice I was previously completely unaware even exists.
     
  16. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Are you sure about this? That's disturbing.
     
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  17. Stacy C

    Stacy C Banned

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    Yup.

    "Like most free Webmail services, Gmail inserts ads next to your e-mail messages. But Gmail is different from services like Yahoo Mail and Hotmail, since it displays text ads based on keywords plucked out of the e-mail you're looking at. The idea behind the Gmail concept is to deliver sponsored messages that will be more relevant to what you're reading, which means you may be more likely to click on a given ad."

    PCWorld
     
  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Yes. I use Gmail and have seen it at work. Doesn't bother me, personally. It's just an automated algorithm choosing from amongst ads based on a word match.
     
  19. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Actually adblocker accepts fees from ad companies to let their advertisements through.
     
  20. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I never see any?
     
  21. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I would assume this is because of a lack of parity between the ads that would interest you and the advertisers who are paying off adblock.

    But now that I'm trying to find backup, it appears that Adblock Plus is the add-on that I'm thinking of. My mistake.
     
  22. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I don't know where I got the false impression emails were encrypted and not data mined. I wonder how Snowden kept his stuff encrypted. I read Greenwald's book explaining that Snowden was and insisting Greenwald did as well before Snowden could communicate with him.

    Google's being sued over it but it looks like all they had to do was update the privacy agreement.
     
  23. Robert_S

    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    You may have blocked these things after they got on your computer.

    A good adware/malware cleaner should help get rid of them.

    Try this one. It's got 4 stars from CNET:

    https://toolslib.net/downloads/viewdownload/1-adwcleaner/

    You'll also want to get something to block and clean ActiveX applets off your computer.
     
  24. Ezekiel2517

    Ezekiel2517 Member

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    Are you logged into google?
     
  25. DiscoMacaque

    DiscoMacaque Member

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    Usually, no. I generally browse with a private browser and not logged in. I do sometimes search while my gmail is open, and I think even if I have it set not to it can track what I'm searching.
     

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