The role Facebook appears to have played in the election of 2016 has created interest in how Facebook targets ads to each of us. Facebook collects information it can gather from our online behavior and these data are made available to those willing to pay to have specific ads provided to those with specific combinations of these data points. Core questions include what does Facebook know about us and what about this information results in us seeing any given ad?
This post from TNW addresses these questions and shows you how you can learn at least something relevant to these questions. This post is well worth your time.
Here is a simple thing you can try. When you are presented an ad on Facebook, you can ask why am I seeing this ad. The downward pointing caret should open a drop-down menu. If you find the ad useful, you are likely to see similar ads more frequently. If you are interested, this gives you some measure of control over what you are likely to see in the future. The option to ask for an explanation allows you to see something about the data used to select you for the ad that has appeared.
The following is the type of thing Facebook will reveal.
Here is an example with a little more political potential.