Warning: Sharing An Amazon Link On Facebook Can Turn Your Face Into An Ad

This past Valentine’s Day, Iowa City multimedia producer Nick Bergus posted an odd product he found on Amazon.com, which was a 55-gallon barrel of personal lubricant. Bergus did not expect Facebook to turn the link he shared into an ad with his face plastered as an advocate for the product.

“I was mildly annoyed, though not to the point of deleting my Facebook account or throwing a hissy fit,” said Bergus on his blog. “I know the costs of using Facebook. It does not cost me money. It uses lots of my personal information.”

Within a few days of Bergus posting the link, he started seeing his post among the ads on Facebook containing his name and profile picture. Facebook believed that this post was a product endorsement and it was transformed into an ad, paid for by Amazon. Facebook calls this a “sponsored story.”

Let this be a warning to all. If you post a link from Amazon.com on Facebook, you can expect it to potentially serve as an ad.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at

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