I have a dodo’s technical skills but I know when I’m being had by tech colossus Facebook. I’ve taken a stroll through the mind-numbing jargon and evasiveness of the “settings” of my Facebook account. And I’m being had. Here’s what happened.

I joined Facebook in the innocent days of Farmland on a dare from a friend, a real one (thanks a lot CS!).  I “friended” some folks and some “friended” me. Oh happy me.

When I joined, I was smart enough not to put anything in the “about” section. And I never “signed in” to anything through Facebook. I just joined and posted now and then. So I thought I was safe.

With the recent attacks on Facebook’s use by baddies seeking to steal the 2016 election and the ensuing wrath heaped on Chairman Zuckerberg, I got interested.  I watched some of Zuckerberg’s testimony in both the Senate and the House and was fascinated by his deference to his interrogators and his practiced avoidance of substantive answers to their questions.

Typically when asked a tough question, Zuckerberg said that Facebook was “developing artificial intelligence” (the kind your not born with, I guess) to deal with issues a through z. If I were a member of Congress, I might have responded, “if you can’t deal with the corrosive characteristics of Facebook because you lack the AI to do so, suspend operations until you can.”

Armed with the mistaken impression that Facebook is now going to let me control my Facebook fate, I decided to go to my “Settings” and take action. When I got there, I was immediately reminded of a song used in New York Bar Association shows when I chaired its Entertainment Committee: “In the land of Escrow, where it’s always ALMOST Spring, something warm and wonderful is NOT QUITE happening.” Facebook is just like Escrowland.

There’s a place in Settings called “Your Ad Preferences.” Aha, I thought, pay dirt!

One of the choices there is “Hide Ad Topics.” The word “hide” is  evasive Facebook jargon. Notice, you are not invited to “remove” or “eliminate” detested “topics,” just to “hide” them, suggesting that they continue to exist somewhere in Facebookland to return when the Zuckerberg posse decides they are again needed.

The three “topics” listed as already being hidden by Facebook through no action by me are alcohol, parenting and pets.  Odd, I thought. I’m not a drinker, a parent or a pet owner.

Facebook prompted me to add other topics that I wanted to “hide.” But Facebook requested only “sensitive” topics,  another oddity as there is nothing sensitive about their existing bans on beer, junior or fido.

So in the space provided, I added a slew of ad subjects I wanted Facebook to “hide” from me. You guessed it: nothing happened and I am still the proud possessor of zero ads on the “topics” Facebook chose but those I selected are not listed even though I added them.

Facebook allowed me to download my “archive” including the names with whom or with which my “data” was shared without my knowledge or permission.  There are lots of names I never heard of. Here are some of my favorites (I did not make these up):
Real Food by Dad, Hop Along, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Diamond Diaries Saga, Dashboard Confessional, Strong Black Lead, Americans for Prosperity-Alaska, What’s Gaby Cooking, Black Mirror, Slots Era, Surefire Local, Torrid, Paul Ryan, El Chapo, Altered Carbon, Game Over, Man, Eat This, Not That!, and Ugly Delicious.

All are welcome to my “data,” but El Chapo and Paul Ryan not so much.