My interests exposed

well, to me completely, and to you just a bit if you read on.  To Twitter, everything.

If you’re a Twitter user, you probably noticed an email recently indicating that their terms and conditions had been updated.

It was cold and rainy here so I did go through and read things.

This paragraph stuck out in my mind.


Normally, social media isn’t very transparent about how they track your activity so I was intrigued by this.

So, it was off to my Your Twitter Data page.  It’s available by clicking your icon (or egg if you’re really not into this).  There’s a lot of interesting things to see there.  When I scrolled to the bottom, I noticed that I could request a list of advertisers for my personalized advertising.  I did that and got a PDF listing in my mailbox this morning.

There were so many names there.  So many that I didn’t recognize.  I have opted out for personalized advertising so perhaps that’s why the list was so big.

But the big eye opener for me was to see what Twitter called my interests.  (again, a click away on this page and the results appear immediately.)

Here are my “ABC”s.

Screenshot 2017-05-22 at 10.08.42.png

Of course, the list goes on and on and you’d probably find it quite boring.  I found it fascinating.  This was like a snapshot of my personal interest and an indication of just how valuable my information is to Twitter.

We talk about how services “spy” on us or “learn” what it is that we’re after and adjust things accordingly.  The end goal is to provide things of interest and value and then take care of the business end.  That’s why you choose your friends wisely.

Imagine if you just “released the hounds” and took whatever was available.  Try doing this – Open a Twitter search and then grab a book from your bookshelf and open to a random page and pick a random word and let Twitter give you results.  How valuable is that?  There really is a barren social media area that you probably don’t care to even know about.

I’ll be honest; I found the information and the process just fascinating.  There’s undoubtedly very little that I can do about it but it is a reminder in so many ways about things you should know about being connected.

You assignment today – check yourself out.  Any surprises?

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: Follow me on Twitter: I'm bookmarking things at:

One thought on “My interests exposed”

  1. I started clicking around yesterday to get a feel for the changes and “updates” from Twitter. I didn’t catch the “interests” part, but quickly had a look now after reading this post. I was surprised by a few of mine as some were not my “interests” at all, but I know I tweeted about the topics… confirming the nuance that such data collection may never capture? I unclicked a few “interests”, but I doubt it will make much difference to my experience on Twitter. I did notice recently though that the “dismiss” button/option disappeared under ads in my timeline. I am left feeling a bit creeped out by all this. Certainly not what I signed up for in the beginning, but I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.


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