Reddit Removes the Ability to Turn off Personalized Ads; Forces Users to Share Activity

Reddit ads featured

As time has gone on, social media has clamped down on privacy while talking about its importance. Reddit, in particular, came under fire a few months ago when it monetized its API and forced third-party clients like Apollo for Reddit to shut down. The company is in hot waters again as its new changes have removed the option to turn off personalized ads. But what exactly does this mean, and will it affect you? Check out all the details below.

Reddit Forces Users to See Personalized Ads

Just a day ago, in a post, Reddit announced several updates to how privacy settings are handled on the platform. While the majority of the post was focused on cleaning up the descriptions and privacy settings, a particular update caught Redditors’ eye. The company is removing the ability to opt out of ad personalization based on user’s Reddit activity.

Reddit activity ads
The toggle that is now going away

Previously, Reddit users had the option to toggle off a setting that prevented the company from using their Reddit account and activity info to personalize ads. That will now be changing as Reddit is removing this toggle and instead using that data by default. In its defense, the company claims, “Reddit requires very little personal information, and we like it that way.” However, this might allow the social media giant to use Redditor’s activity data in collaboration with its advertisers for personalized ads.

A thing to note is that this toggle will remain in some countries. Sadly, Reddit hasn’t specified which ones those are (possibly the EU). This can mean users without the option for the toggle should now start to see more personalized ads based on their activity.

New Change Naturally Worries Users

Reddit mentions that most users will not see any change in their ad appearances. Even users who had previously turned this toggle off “will not result in seeing more ads or sharing on-platform activity with advertisers.” It will, however, help Reddit’s models to better predict which ads are most relevant to the user.

Reddit fan comment

This change has naturally worried and angered users who now think the company will market their specific data set to anyone, which naturally spells many privacy implications. As such, the post is flooded with comments renouncing it and suggesting ad blockers alike.

Changes to Reddit Rolling out Soon

The removal of the advertisement toggle, along with all the other changes, is expected to roll out gradually in the next few weeks. However, as mentioned before, some countries have been marked as exceptions with no idea which ones they are.

Besides this huge change, Reddit also brought about some other changes, including clearer descriptions for privacy settings, consolidating ad partner activity, and adding the ability to opt out of specific ad categories. This will let users see fewer ads from categories like Dating, Alcohol, Gambling, Pregnancy, Parenting, and more. These, too, will roll out as mentioned above.

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