The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Professor researches social media ads

Associate professor of communication Chris Yang is doing research regarding the connection between advertising and social media.

Yang said the purpose of his current research is to educate consumers so they know how to protect their privacy in social media, how advertisers can use it and to warn advertisers that they must be careful when handling user data.

Yang said Facebook would like users to tell the truth online because they can better target you.

“You will be a better target for their marketing, their advertising activity,” Yang said.
Sites like Facebook use a cost-per-click model, in which the site charges advertisers each time someone clicks their ad. But, if users don’t click the ads, the site doesn’t make money.

“At present, a lot of young people just ignore Facebook ads,” he said. “That’s a problem for Facebook.”

But some students do notice the ads, like sophomore elementary education major Mark Blanton, who said he will occasionally click on the ads.

“I’ve clicked on them once or twice,” Banton said. “It’s not ideal [for Facebook to advertise], but I don’t want to have to pay to use Facebook and I do like the fact that it’s tailored individually. It’s not a random product that I’m never going to want, it’s something that I might actually want to buy.”
Facebook’s current default setting for user information is public.
As a public company, Facebook is under pressure to make more money and to therefore monetize users’ personal information, Yang said.
Yang said students’ information is at risk if they don’t care about their privacy settings.
“That means anything you disclose on Facebook is in the public domain,” Yang said. “Facebook can use it at their will. Facebook can sell your information to marketers. That’s kind of scary.”
In order for marketers to take user information off Facebook, they need permission from the company, and you likely must purchase it, Yang said.
When users log in to other websites via Facebook, like Amazon.com, they are giving Amazon permission to have access to information even if privacy settings are set so that only friends see their posts, Yang said.
“That’s actually a trap,” he said. “Amazon will be your friend. When you are ‘friending’ these commercial websites, you have to be careful. They have access to your information now.”
Sophomore healthcare management major Kimberly Mangrum said she does not click on Facebook ads, but they are relevant to her interests.
“There was a purse I looked up so much that Facebook started advertising it on my profile,” Mangrum said. “It’s creepy.”
Yang will publish a paper in December based on his findings.

Story: JOSHUA FARMER, Senior News Reporter

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *