March 18, 2018

Passive linking to social media

Embedding scripts from social media sites have implications in that it will result in profiling users who visit your site. Although marketing based on a user profile is mostly considered harmless, however, it has to be done with some degree of awareness by the site owner. In an age where machine learning is often unsupervised in marketing, we need to be aware of methods to mitigate the potential for harm.

Consider this example: You have a page to help people with a gambling addiction, you value the potential of network marketing allowing anyone to share that page with people who might have a need. There is a potential for harm when the person visiting the site is profiled through the use of external scripts, as the marketing-AI might find out that it might be valuable to give this individual an offer they can´t refuse on a gambling site.

As new laws are implemented in Europe which impacts large parts of the IT-world, most sites will need to review their policies. Inconsiderate profiling of user behavior may in many instances be illegal. In particular, the vulnerabilities of the data subjects require consideration.

There are many ways to mitigate risk by not using the scripts social media sites provide. Read on for helpful pointers.


[Responsible Social Share links] ( )

Jonathan Suh highlights the negative performance impacts of the cut-and-paste javascript provided by social media sites, especially over slower 3G and 4G networks. He also goes on to describe alternative ways to make it easy to share content with these sites.


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