Twitter is one of the best ways to follow the news, live events, and to keep up with the people in your life in real-time. While Facebook chooses what you see through an algorithm, Twitter is a firehose of everything those you follow are tweeting or retweeting.
The trade-off for being a free service, however, is that the platform is ad-supported, embedding “native” ads that look like tweets into your timeline from anyone willing to pay.
Constantly being tracked around the web may be too invasive for some users, however, and so Twitter provides options for cutting back. Here’s how to find them.
Twitter describes its adverts -- which are essentially promotional tweets and accounts appearing in a user's timeline -- as 'tailored' based on interests. According to Twitter, various account information is shared with partners based on who you follow, what you tweet about, and so on.
To switch off ad tracking on the web, head to Settings and then the 'Security and Privacy' tab.
Once in the 'Security and Privacy' tab, scroll down and un-check the box next to 'Tailor ads based on information shared by ad partners.'
Twitter describes this data as tailoring ads toward 'things you've already shown an interest in.'
In the 'Security and Privacy' tab there is also an option called 'Personalisation' which is only available to some users.
According to Twitter, Personalisation uses the websites that you've previously visited to determine the kind of content, or products, that you would like to receive advertisements for. If you have enabled 'Do Not Track,' however, the feature is already off.
Of course, Twitter doesn't just exist in the desktop browser: there are also apps for mobile devices which can track the things that you search for, view and enjoy to track ads.
To disable this on iOS, head to Settings > Privacy > Advertising and switch the 'Limit Ad Tracking' toggle to off.
Beyond limiting ad tracking in iOS Settings, there is an even more explicit way to prevent Twitter from targetting you based on your previous interests.
To find it, go to the Twitter app, head to Settings (located in the profile tab) > your account and scroll down to the toggle that controls 'ads based on info from ad partners.' Switch it off and Twitter no longer uses prior information to select ads for you.
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