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ReadThisThing (Mar 28th, 2018)

Affiliates once had to guess what kind of person might fall for their unsophisticated cons, targeting ads by age, geography, or interests. Now Facebook does that work for them. The social network tracks who clicks on the ad and who buys the pills, then starts targeting others whom its algorithm thinks are likely to buy. Affiliates describe watching their ad campaigns lose money for a few days as Facebook gathers data through trial and error, then seeing the sales take off exponentially. “They go out and find the morons for me,” I was told by an affiliate who sells deceptively priced skin-care creams with fake endorsements from Chelsea Clinton.

These affiliate marketing scammers think of themselves as being like the "surfers-slash-bank-robbers of the 1991 movie Point Break" and they say since Facebook is more concerned with monitoring whether ads have proper text and image sizes, and not the sinister intent of the advertiser, they can continue mostly unfettered. If you've been debating whether or not to #deleteFacebook, this article might help you decide. 

Read: How Facebook Helps Shady Advertisers Pollute the Internet

For more news about Facebook and other social media companies, subscribe to our daily Inside Social newsletter here

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