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Jeff Larson

Reporter

How We Are Monitoring Political Ads on Facebook

ProPublica built software and a machine-learning algorithm to allow Facebook users to send us the political ads that appear on their Facebook news feeds.

Political Ads on Facebook

To make American campaigns more transparent, we’ve built a tool to display political ads that are rarely seen outside their selected audience of Facebook users.

Facebook Allowed Political Ads That Were Actually Scams and Malware

These ads raise doubts about Facebook’s ability to monitor paid political messages. In each case, the ads ran afoul of Facebook’s own guidelines to curb misleading and malicious advertising.

Facebook Allowed Questionable Ads in German Election Despite Warnings

CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to ensure the campaign’s integrity, but the company didn’t take down anti-Green party posts of unknown origin.

German Political Ads Collected From Facebook

During the German parliamentary elections in September, many Germans used ProPublica's Political Ad Collector to identify political advertising in their Facebook news feeds. This database provides a rare window into political ads on Facebook, which are not normally seen by the general public.

California Regulators Require Auto Insurers to Adjust Rates

The state changed its approach in response to ProPublica’s finding that minority neighborhoods were paying higher premiums than white areas with the same risk.

Help Us Monitor Political Ads Online

ProPublica launches a “PAC” to scrutinize campaign ads on Facebook.

Despite Disavowals, Leading Tech Companies Help Extremist Sites Monetize Hate

Most tech companies have policies against working with hate websites. Yet a ProPublica survey found that PayPal, Stripe, Newsmax and others help keep more than half of the most-visited extremist sites in business.

How We Investigated Technology Companies Supporting Hate Sites

We wrote software to find the external domains contacted by popular websites that have been identified as extremist by either the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Anti-Defamation League.

Democratic Congress Members Raise Alarm About Security at Trump Properties

After ProPublica found security holes in networks at Trump properties, two dozen House members ask White House counsel to intervene, saying “these networks may already be stolen and the systems may already be compromised.”

Any Half-Decent Hacker Could Break Into Mar-a-Lago

We tested internet security at four Trump properties. It’s not good.

Chicago Area Disparities in Car Insurance Premiums

Some car insurers charge higher premiums in Chicago’s minority neighborhoods than in predominantly white neighborhoods with similar risk of accidents.

Bias in Criminal Risk Scores Is Mathematically Inevitable, Researchers Say

ProPublica’s analysis of bias against black defendants in criminal risk scores has prompted research showing that the disparity can be addressed — if the algorithms focus on the fairness of outcomes.

Breaking the Black Box: How Machines Learn to Be Racist

Artificial Intelligence is only as good as the patterns we teach it. To illustrate the sensitivity of AI systems, we built an AI engine that deduced synonyms from news articles published by different types of news organizations.

ProPublica Responds to Company’s Critique of Machine Bias Story

Northpointe asserts that a software program it sells that predicts the likelihood a person will commit future crimes is equally fair to black and white defendants. We re-examined the data, considered the company’s criticisms, and stand by our conclusions.

Technical Response to Northpointe

Northpointe asserts that a software program it sells that predicts the likelihood a person will commit future crimes is equally fair to black and white defendants. We re-examined the data, considered the company’s criticisms, and stand by our conclusions.

What Algorithmic Injustice Looks Like in Real Life

A computer program rated defendants’ risk of committing a future crime. These are the results.

Machine Bias

There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.

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