Facebook displayed on a laptop screen.
Facebook displayed on a laptop screen. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

For years, Facebook has allowed advertisers to target ads based on a user's zip-code, age or gender and apparently also their sexuality. A team of researchers at Microsoft and Germany's Max Planck Institute found a substantial number of ads on Facebook that were targeted specifically at gay men. When users click on those ads the website that placed them instantly knows that the user is gay. And according to the study authors, the ads targeting gay men were diverse. One was for a nursing school in Florida.

We hear from Chris Soghoin, a privacy researcher at Indiana University, and Jason Kaufman, a research fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a non-profit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions, or just encouraged you to think differently – we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today - in whatever amount is right for you - and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.