Facebook has its own advertising settings. They’re similar to Google’s options, but there are a lot more to sort through. Facebook’s ads settings offer a few options under several different tabs.
You can see the advertisers whose ads you’ve been shown recently, and choose to hide them going forward. Then there are ad topics, categories Facebook has slotted you into. There are literally hundreds of them, but there’s also a search function. The best strategy is to look for the subject you want to avoid. (If you click on the search bar, it will recommend a few potentially sensitive topics such as parenting or politics.) Like Google, Facebook doesn’t promise zero ads on these subjects if you use these settings.
Then there’s a page with four more settings, and this is where it gets confusing. They’re all worth looking at, but two are most relevant. Essentially, turn these settings off if you want ads to be less targeted overall, as opposed to avoiding specific topics.
The first is “Data about your activity from partners.” The specifics are complicated, but the bottom line is that other companies send Facebook data about you. If you turn this setting off, Facebook says it will avoid using some of that for its own ads.
The second is “Ads shown off of Facebook.” As described above, Facebook doesn’t just show you ads on Facebook; the company’s ad system runs in apps and all over the internet. The “Ads shown off of Facebook” setting determines whether advertisers can use information based on your Facebook activity to target you on other platforms.
To find the controls: Navigate to Facebook’s ad settings, or click the down arrow in the top right of the Facebook home page > Settings & Privacy > Settings > Then from the menu on the left, choose Ads. (These instructions are for a computer browser, but the steps are similar on a phone or in the app.)
From here you’ll get to Ad Preferences. Choose from the tabs on the left to find the settings you want to adjust. The second choice is Ad Topics, and you may only see a few—click “See more” to get the whole list, which may be quite long.
To control the ads you see off of Facebook, you need to click the third option, Ad Settings, and then scroll down on the menu that pops up.