Algorithms of Trauma 2. How Facebook Feeds on Your Fears

2 min. read
Grafika do case study

Worried about your health? Facebook won’t let you forget.

Facebook competes for users’ attention by exploiting its knowledge of their anxieties and weaknesses, and the buttons which are supposed to hide unwanted content do not work as they promise. A new study by the Panoptykon Foundation led by Piotr Sapieżyński, PhD, of Northeastern University (Boston) has been released.

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How to check Facebook Ads Interest List?


  1. Click on your profile picture to see a menu.
  2. Select Settings & privacy to access your Privacy Center.
  3. Click the tile that says You have options to manage the ads you see on Facebook.
  4. Next, if you click Review ad preferences, a window will pop up.
  5. Choose Facebook and Messenger off a list of apps, and a menu for your ad preferences will appear in a new tab.
  6. Click to access your Ad topics, and another pop-up window finally takes you where you want to be.
  7. Done!

This episode of Panoptykon 4.0 featured:

  • the case study subject – “Joanna” read by Tanya O’Carroll;
  • psychologist and therapist – Joanna Flis;
  • algorithm researcher – PhD Piotr Sapieżyński;
  • the President of the Panoptykon Foundation – Katarzyna Szymielewicz;
  • the script was written by Matylda Grodecka;
  • script editing and production – Maria Wróblewska;
  • content supervision – Dorota Głowacka;
  • expert consultation – Magdalena Birecka;
  • sound editing and post-production – Jarek Gawlik;
  • promotion – Dominika Chachuła, Aleksandra Iwańska and Anna Obem;
  • read by Daniel Stawczyk.
Audio file