@cheesemaker Yeah, this was the most confusing and disturbing file in my export; I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while. Nearly 2K worth of “advertisers”—realtors and auto dealers across the country, in places I’ve never gone or ever thought of going, conservative PACs, a few national brands, stuff I couldn’t even figure out what it was…only a couple I actually really knew of, and even then I don’t think they had any of my info. There are only 2 email addresses associated with my account—my Georgetown email, which I had to use at that time to join but otherwise was only used for receiving official email from the University, and the email I started using mostly with OSS projects and a few other things in the late 2000s.
It’s certainly possible that someone scraped that other email address from somewhere and then shared it widely, but I can also “link” bunches of the advertisers to friends, as in “that company seems local to Friend X, or a place where Friend X went on vacation—even if Friend X has never interacted with that company”.
So my thought is that, contrary to what’s implied in the name Facebook gave the file, these are all of the advertisers whose campaigns I was caught up in, but not necessarily because they had my email address or city; rather, the advertisers were allowed to target not only Person X who actually meets their target audience, but also “friends of (Person X who meets our target)” who clearly didn’t otherwise belong to the target audience and who they didn’t explicitly have any info for. // @ronguest @AlanRalph