Be Careful What You Link To

By link­ing to a 55 gal­lon drum of water-​​based lubri­cant on Ama­zon from his Face­book page, he became Amazon’s pitch­man for said lubri­cant to his friends.

Amused, I posted it to Face­book with the line “A 55-​​gallon drum of lube on Ama­zon. For Valentine’s Day. And every day. For the rest of your life.” And then I went on with my life.
A week later, a friend posts a screen cap­ture and tells me that my post has been show­ing up next to his news feed as a spon­sored story, mean­ing Ama­zon is pay­ing Face­book to high­light my link to a giant tub of per­sonal lubri­cant.
Other peo­ple start report­ing that they’re see­ing it, too. A fel­low roller derby ref­eree. A for­mer employee of a mag­a­zine I still write for. My co-worker’s wife. They’re not see­ing just once, but reg­u­larly. Said one friend: “It has shown up as one on mine every sin­gle time I log in.”

In this day and age, it’s good to keep in mind that if the ser­vice or web site you’re using isn’t charg­ing you any­thing, there’s a good chance you are the product.

Via kot​tke​.org