Reddit is simplifying its ad privacy options by removing the ability to ignore targeted ads based on user activity on the platform. This includes communities users join, posts they upvote or downvote, and how they spend their time on the site. The changes aim to improve ad performance and click-through rates, as well as make the privacy descriptions more straightforward. While Reddit states that it does not send activity information to third-party advertisers, users will no longer be able to opt out of ad targeting based on their preferences or habits.
In addition to these changes, Reddit is adding the ability to opt out of specific ad categories, such as alcohol, gambling, pregnancy and parenting, or weight loss. However, the site clarifies that it may not be able to completely stop these types of ads and will strive to show fewer of them to users. The accuracy of this feature is expected to improve over time, as Reddit uses a combination of manual tagging and machine learning to classify the ads. It is worth noting that some “select countries” will still maintain the ability to deselect ad targeting, although it is unclear which countries are included.
Overall, these privacy changes further highlight the ongoing monetization measures and concerns surrounding user privacy on the platform. While Reddit assures users that these changes will not result in more ads or sharing on-platform activity with advertisers, it reinforces the perception that users are being treated as a product. Additionally, the introduction of the opt-out feature for specific ad categories aligns with efforts by other platforms like Google to provide users with more control over their ad preferences.