May 10, 2014

PSA: Stop Taking "What X Are You" Quizzes, Period

As my Facebook feed has begun to clog up with an alarming number of  people sharing the results of their quizzes of 'What Character From (Insert Franchise Here) Are You?' and 'What Animal Are You?' I think it's time to speak out about the true nature of these little questionnaires. The folks at Glove and Boots (Above) share their thoughts regarding how obnoxious these quizzes have become, but they left out the most important information regarding their true nature.

These 'quizzes' are thinly veiled attempts to mine your personal data for marketing firms. Data that will be used to create a much better profile for advertisers to target you that much more accurately and obnoxiously while you're at it. The more 'quizzes' you take under the guise of figuring out whether you're more of a Snape or a Dumbledore, the more this 'ad target' profile of you takes shape. You're being fooled.

Websites like Buzzfeed crank out tons of these quizzes that millions of people take, and sell the data off to the highest bidder. I'll admit that whoever came up with this ploy of disguising data mining behind stupid quizzes was an absolute genius, and a very deceptive and shady one at that. So please, stop taking these quizzes. Stop sharing them. Inform your misguided friends who share their results publicly as to what they're playing into. This has been an AwesomeRobo PSA. Over and out. For more related reading regarding these deceptive practices, I'd recommend checking out this story called Which Data Set Are You by NPR.

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