A question that, rather surprisingly, hasn’t come up until now is how much information BuzzFeed actually knows about you, and which of that data they choose to store and then resell to third-party advertisers. According to British web specialist Dan Barker, the answer may actually surprise you because BuzzFeed quizzes can lull you into giving up some deceptively personal information. Barker then went through some of BuzzFeed’s quizzes and found that each answer he submitted was tracked and sent through along with all of that other data which could potentially be used to identify you.
While wandering through the comments to Dan’s post, we found the director of growth and data at BuzzFeed, Dao Nguyen, had commented on the story. This caveat is important because we do not in fact record that it is “you” browsing the site. Get our daily newsletter!An exclusive worldwide wrap of tech news in your inbox every morning, plus exclusive offers and more! Email addresses collected for competition entries or discussion accounts are stored purely for that purpose and kept in a POPI compliant manner.
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Ten years later, our quiz-sharing platforms have evolved, but our love of quizzes remains exactly the same.
That isn’t to say online quizzes have festered in unpopularity since the glory days of LiveJournal.
Of course, no one actually believes these quizzes are going to uncover some dark mystery about themselves. But do any of your Facebook friends really care if you’re more of a Spock than a Kirk? Displacement, according to Freud, is an unconscious process through which the psyche transfers energy, ideas, and emotions away from things that cause anxiety, and toward similar things that are superficial, whimsical, and distracting. In this case, rather than focusing on the algorithmic targeting and surveillance that has become so ordinary in our everyday lives, we distract ourselves by focusing on meaningless algorithmic categorization. In their world-simplifying way, quizzes combat the feeling of information overload with which Internet denizens are all too familiar. In the “what city should you live in?” quiz, you’re asked which food you could eat forever.

We can use this knowledge in marketing to make sure we’re not overwhelming people with options.
On the surface, this doesn’t appear to have anything to do with which city you’re destined to live in.
The “Which city should you actually live in?” quiz spawned a pretty epic chain of emails here at Jellyvision. Copyright © 2012 Share The Knownledge, All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
Whether you’re finding out which Disney princess you are, or delving into a more serious topics like if you should have been an astronaut or librarian (because BuzzFeed is a totally reliable way to plan out the rest of your life), BuzzFeed quizzes are an addictive and fun way to waste some time in the afternoon.
Her comment is below and it does make us feel a little better about the fact that 99% of users are never even logged into BuzzFeed making most of the data collected 100% anonymous. I noticed that you added this caveat: “I’m going to caveat that I’m not 100% sure they’re recording that it is ‘me’ browsing the site (ie.
The string sent to GA is not your username but an anonymised string that is not linked in any way to your account, email address or other personally identifiable information. Who a specific user is and what he or she is doing on the site is actually a useless piece of information for us. The neat thing about these are that you can opt out yourself over at Google’s HQ, if you read through these pages on the DoubleClick cookie in particular. We will never share or sell these on, except in the rare incidence of a competition in which our promo partner insists on getting access to entries. We do, however, take every effort to ensure that our reporting is accurate and fair to all sides in a story. We’re happy to discuss story details with you and, where appropriate, publish valid corrections as soon as possible.
The narcissism evident in those long-ago Web 1.0 quizzes has wrapped around to again become popular.
On the dark side of human nature, this desire to simplify the world is one justification for prejudice of all kinds; on the light side, it makes lists super fun.
Even more, they provide us with the instant affirmation that we share some part of ourselves with other people (or cities, or David Lynch characters, or Bill O’Reillys) that we admire. The quizzes themselves are designed in such a slapdash way that they seem to follow no internal logic. By merit of making it all the way to the end of this article, you’re officially a Smart Internet User. Why Cana€™t Virginia Explain How Jamycheal Mitchell Starved to Death in the Statea€™s Care?

You’ve probably taken a few, and have learned what city you should live in, what career you should actually have, and even which Al Roker you are.
But they also are Damn Good Communication that we professional communication people can take a few pointers from.
However, when we’re presented with too many choices, we get overwhelmed and are less likely to act.
The BuzzFeed quizzes are like a trail of mini, happy surprises, designed to keep you entertained and engaged. Other advertising partners (such as AdClick Africa) may also drop a cookie on your machine. In this case, it will be made very clear in the T&Cs for that compo that this will happen.
If you have a Facebook account, you’ve probably noticed that all of your friends are sharing BuzzFeed quizzes with reckless abandon. So BuzzFeed gives us limited options, knowing that we’ll be less frustrated by picking a food that doesn’t 100% match our favoritest food ever than by a never-ending list of food choices. People will appreciate that you’re not hitting them over the head with soulless talking points. People couldn’t wait to share what their city was, or why the quiz was totally right or totally wrong. Also, let me know if you’re interested in joining my “I’m an Al Roker Lifting Ryan Gosling” Meetup group. Allow people to filter their options down to the ones that fit their needs—or better yet, provide them with a personalized recommendation.
Make something that sparks a conversation, and you won’t have to agonize over whether you used the exact right keywords.
Along with sites like Xanga and Blogger, LiveJournal was a kind of proto-Tumblr where my friends and I could post our high-school class schedules and test out new curse words we’d learned. These assumptions had questionable basis in truth but appealed to my naive desire to simplify the world. For a brief period, it became extremely popular among my friends to fill out these automated quizzes and post the results to our LiveJournals.
What makes these quizzes so overwhelmingly shareable—even though they feel, at heart, like baloney?

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