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Facebook reveals the strangest things we 'like'

Julie Ryan Evans is an editor and writer who has covered everything from Capitol Hill to the politics of preschool. A mother of two, a runner of races, and a gourmet chef wannabe, she currently lives outside of Orlando, Florida.

The surprising things people care about, according to Facebook

If most people were to list their interests, you would likely find a mix of hobbies, sports and a smattering of books, music and TV shows. But what about sin? Or say, crying? According to Facebook, those should be added to many a list as well. 

Last week Facebook introduced its Audience Optimization tool, which lets page managers identify a "preferred audience" based on the audience's interests before posting something. These interests are determined by the things users post and share on Facebook.

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While there are more than 282,000 interests Facebook uses, The Verge pulled the top 2,001 things people are interested in… at least according to Facebook. The No. 1 interest is, not so surprisingly, Facebook. The rest of the top 20 are as follows:

2. Technology

3. Entertainment

4. Consumer electronics

5. Shopping and fashion

6. Sports

7. Social network

8. Mobile phones

9. Music

10. Computers

11. Shopping

12. Food

13. Games

14. Films

15. Travel

16. Instant messaging

17. Facebook for Android

18. Reading

19. Arts and music

20. Clothing

There aren't any huge surprises there, but the farther you go down the list, the more interesting the rankings become. For example, first-person shooter games come in at No. 91, while God came in at 110, right after coffee. Facebook says more than 41,660 users are interested in "narcissistic parent."

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They also break down the data into categories, which provides some surprises. For example, the No. 1 celebrity interest is Justin Bieber, but coming in at No. 2 is Jimmy Page. Beyoncé isn't in the top 10, but Puffy AmiYumi (a Japanese rock/pop duo) comes in at No. 5.

Even more fascinating is the list of "negative verbs and emotions" that interest people. The top 10 includes:

1. Boredom

2. Strike (attack)

3. Crying

4. Shut up

5. Nothing

6. Envy

7. Tears

8. Cheating

9. Lie

10. Punishment

It's hard to imagine what gets you marked as interested in some of these and also a bit worrisome to think what kind of things may end up in your feed because of these supposed interests.

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The entire list is worth a read and may make you think twice about what you share on Facebook. Of course, there's also the question as to whether these interests are based in reality or on the images Facebook users create for public consumption — which, as we know, can be two very different things.

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