Facebook labels you as a liberal or conservative — here’s how to turn it off

social media mark zucerberg with american flags
Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

Facebook data allows for targeted advertising to deliver ads relevant to users — but those same targeting tactics build a profile about you that includes your political stance. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, you may not want Facebook to track this information, but it does so it automatically — even if you don’t expressly label yourself as a liberal or conservative. Based on who you follow and what you choose to share, Facebook tracks your moves to guess where you lie on the political spectrum. It will even label you as a Democrat or Republican. The platform explains that these labels are based on the “information you’ve provided and other activity.”

The political label has been around in Facebook since at least 2016, and while it’s possible to turn it off, the setting is a bit tough to find. Even more confusing, the liberal/conservative label is in a different location than the Democrat/Republican label. Facebook users can ditch the liberal/conservative category, however, using the ad preferences tool the network redesigned in 2016. Here’s how to do it.

On Desktop

facebook labels liberal conservative facebookadsettingsdesktop

1. Remove the liberal/conservative category from the ad preferences page

Head to facebook.com/ads/preferences and look under the Your Information header. Click on the Your Categories tab to see the categories Facebook uses when determining what ads you see. Find the category that starts with US Politics and ends with the political designation Facebook has you pegged for. To delete the category, hover over that option, then click the X.

2. Remove the political party tag from your interests

The liberal-conservative designation is a category, but Facebook may also list your political party under interests. Go back up to the top of the ads preferences page, where you’ll see all your categories under a tab labeled “your interests.”  These interests are grouped into categories at the top. To find the political label, click on more, then select lifestyle and culture from the drop-down menu.

With the lifestyle section selected, you’ll see an arrangement of tags corresponding to the interests Facebook listed you in for ads. Find the tag listing a political party and tap the X to remove that label from your profile. (You may have to click see more at the bottom to view the entire list.) Don’t see a political party? If you haven’t liked a page or an ad associated with a political party, Facebook may not have placed you into a one. You can see all the categories that you’ve removed by heading to the more option and choosing removed interests.

On mobile

facebook labels liberal conservative facebookadsettingsmobile

1. Navigate to the ad settings

Inside the Facebook app, tap the icon at the bottom of the screen with the three lines — it’s in the bottom right corner. Scroll down to the bottom and choose the option for settings and privacy, then click privacy shortcuts. Finally, click on the more settings option and scroll almost all the way to the bottom and click on ads.

2. Find the label under Your Information

Inside ad preferences, tap on the icon that says Your Information. In the next screen, scroll down to Your Categories and tap the icon that says Review and Manage Your Categories. Scroll down to see all the different categories — the political label starts with US Politics for users in the U.S. Tap on the three dots to the right of the label, then tap remove category.

3. Remove the political party tag from your interests

Tap the back arrow to go back to the ad preferences page. Under Interests, tap on see all your interests. You’ll automatically be taken to a section of your top interests. To find a political party label, tap on the arrow next to your top interests, then scroll down to lifestyle and culture. Read through the tags, and if you see an interest you want to remove, just tap the X to delete it.

Facebook labeled my political party incorrectly — why?

Facebook uses the Pages and ads that you interact with to determine what categories you fall in. If you like a political candidate’s Page, for example, you’ll be placed under that candidate’s political party. If you follow a candidate not in your own political party, Facebook may have placed you in the incorrect ad category. Facebook’s targeting is not an exact science, and if you scroll through all the different categories, you’ll probably find at least a few that make you raise your eyebrows in confusion. It’s a good idea to reexamine your ad preferences every so often and delete incorrect or unwanted categories.

Social Media

LinkedIn: Now you can express love, curiosity, and more with new Reactions

LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of Facebook (three years later!) with the rollout of new reactions that give users more ways to express themselves when responding to posts in their feed.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for April 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Gaming

How to share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.
Movies & TV

Did I really watch that? Here's how to delete your Netflix viewing history

Everybody has some skeletons in their streaming closet, but you don't have to live with them if you don't want to. Learning how to delete your Netflix viewing history is easy, and we're here to help.
Smart Home

Tired of running outdoors? Check out the best treadmills of 2019

Running can help melt away fat and strengthening your muscles. Compared to running outdoors, you're safer staying inside on a cushioned track. We've rounded up the best treadmills on the market.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.
News

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.