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TikTok user @jajzey, who goes by Jasmine on the platform, said she noticed an ad about Mormonism in her Facebook feed shortly after discussing the topic with her mom and a family friend.
“I don’t know much about it, but I’ve heard of it before,” she said of the religion in a TikTok clip posted Sunday. “And I’ve never Googled the word ‘Mormon,’ and I have never searched the word ‘Mormon’ on Facebook either — never, never, never.”
“And what do you think pops up in my feed today on Facebook? A Mormon ad,” she added.
She alleged that, while Facebook execs promise the app doesn’t listen to conversations, the tech giant is “f—ing lying.”
The Post has reached out to Meta — which owns Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp — for comment.
According to Meta’s privacy center, the company does not listen to user conversations, despite microphone accessibility.
“We understand that sometimes ads can be so specific, it seems like we must be listening to your conversations through your microphone, but we’re not,” the company claims, noting that it only accesses the microphone if users grant permission and are “actively using a feature” that utilizes the microphone.
While testifying before Congress in 2018 regarding Facebook’s data privacy scandal, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg also denied the company listens to users’ phones.
“No, we don’t listen in on anyone’s phone,” Zuckerberg said at the time.
Yet Jasmine isn’t the first person to claim the social media app is sneakily listening to conversations — conspiracy theories have abounded for years.
One TikToker touted his so-called hack for determining if the app is really snooping on you.
He claimed in 2021 that by talking about a particular topic in earshot of the phone, targeted ads about said subject won’t appear. It’s only when the user engages with content about the topic or types anything related to it on their device that, in theory, ads would populate.
Another TikToker once alleged she and her sister were getting pedicures and talking about “foot fetishes” when all of a sudden a Facebook advertisement for a pair of silicone feet popped up.
“Some recent articles have suggested that we must be listening to people’s conversations in order to show them relevant ads. This is not true,” a spokesperson reiterated in 2017. “We show ads based on people’s interests and other profile information — not what you’re talking out loud about.”
Meta has also come under fire for allegations of not only spying on users’ messages, but also violating other countries’ privacy laws.
Sources within the US Department of Justice previously claimed to The Post that Meta was creeping on data and communications between users, specifically “conservative right-wing individuals” — and giving them to the FBI.
“We carefully scrutinize all government requests for user information to make sure they’re legally valid and narrowly tailored and we often push back,” a Meta spokesperson said at the time. “We respond to legal requests for information in accordance with applicable law and our terms and we provide notice to users whenever permitted.”
Meta has admitted to transcribing audio messages shared between users on its Messenger feature, Vice reported in 2019.
Fellow tech giants Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon were engaging in the same practices, a Facebook spokesperson told Vice at the time. The companies claimed they were only doing so to improve features on devices and apps.
Meta isn’t the only app in the spotlight. TikTok users have revealed a vault of recordings available from Amazon.
A 2021 study found that voice-activated smart assistants such as Google Homes or Amazon Alexas can accidentally activate multiple times every day, allowing them to listen to conversations.
While toggling microphone allowance off for certain apps or functions, such as Siri, or turning off home smart assistants could potentially stop the devices from eavesdropping, NYU Professor Nasir Memon previously told The Post that people really can’t be choosy.
“I understand the concern,” Memon, then the chair of New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, said in 2021. “But what can you do, right? You’re looking for a system to obey your voice commands, and it has to be triggered in some way.”