Why Facebook's new "ethnic" tab is a bad idea
I've been using Facebook practically since it started. My college was one of the first to get the now-ruler of social media networks and I was an early adopter. I loved using it to connect to classmates, friends and , eventually, my family and co-workers.
But Facebook has changed a lot since its launch in 2004 and the latest change has got me cringing. The advertising platform they offer to marketers has always been uniquely integrated. I can be on Facebook and see an advertisement for a movie that my friend likes that I may like as well. They use your likes and your friend's likes to target advertisements but their new way of targeting includes adding an "ethnic" tab and I just don't think I am very comfortable with that.
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I don't hide the fact that I'm Latina on Facebook, or any of the social media sites that I use. If my last name didn't make things pretty obvious already, I also talk about, retweet and post things that may interest other Latinos. But just because I'm open about my cultural heritage doesn't mean I want Facebook to show me targeted ads just because, say, my aunt liked the "Hispanics for Mitt Romney" page.
The new "ethnic" tab, which launched at the end of 2011, currently only has the subset "Hispanic" but other ethnic groups are expected to follow.
The big problem here is that not all Hispanics are the same. We're an extremely diverse group, sometimes even within the same family. We come in different shapes, sizes, political affiliations and more. Not all of us even check the Hispanic box on the Census, since some of us also identify as black, white or Indian. And what about those, like me, who are biracial?
Read more ¿Qué más? Being Latina has nothing to do with race.
I don't know exactly how Facebook is determining who is Hispanic and who isn't, but either way this isn't like showing me an ad for The Hunger Games movie because I already like the books. This is more personal and I really wish they wouldn't venture into this tricky territory.
What do you think of Facebook's new ethnic tab and being labeled (and targeted for advertisement) as Hispanic?