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So, I read a Cracked.com article about a certain popular video game (that shall remain nameless but involves going into blue things and emerging out of orange things). I knew nothing about that game before. (Why, yes, I do live under a rock.) I get curious and I visit that game's articles on Wikipedia and TVTropes. I watch some gameplay of it on YouTube.

Hours later, I open up Facebook and lo and behold, it saw fit to suggest I "like" that game's FB page. Even though I never typed its name on FB, and none of my FB friends have liked it.

Do they snoop my browsing history with JavaScript or something?

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Some companies have adverts that check for their own cookies so if you visit a DIY site to search for sheds and then browse onto a site where they advertise you'll get an advert for sheds from that site. Something like that could be going on, but I'd be guessing. – ChrisF May 30 '11 at 22:02
up vote 7 down vote accepted

It's called Behavioral Targeting and it's being used pretty much everywhere. Here's an article about Facebook-specific behavioral targeting: http://www.switched.com/2010/04/19/facebook-launching-ads-based-on-your-browsing-history/

You can opt-out of behavioral targeting from most major online marketing companies by using the following page: http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp

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@JCCyc did you "like" the cracked.com page? The switched.com article says you need to click "like" for this targeting to take effect – Midhat May 31 '11 at 7:11
@Midhat, no, I didn't. – JCCyC Jun 1 '11 at 7:24

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