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Machine Bias

Investigating Algorithmic Injustice

Investigating algorithmic injustice and the formulas that influence our lives.

Impact of Our Reporting

Machine Bias

Facebook Finally Agrees to Eliminate Tool That Enabled Discriminatory Advertising

Six years after ProPublica revealed that Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude Black users and others, the company agreed to a settlement with the Justice Department to overhaul its ad algorithm system.

Machine Bias

Employers Used Facebook to Keep Women and Older Workers From Seeing Job Ads. The Federal Government Thinks That’s Illegal.

In a first, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that companies violated civil rights law through their use of Facebook’s targeting advertising.

Machine Bias

Facebook Won’t Let Employers, Landlords or Lenders Discriminate in Ads Anymore

The sweeping changes come two years after ProPublica’s reporting, which sparked lawsuits and widespread outrage.

Machine Bias

Besieged Facebook Says New Ad Limits Aren’t Response to Lawsuits

The social network is removing 5,000 options that regulators say enable advertisers to discriminate.

Machine Bias

Fair Housing Groups Sue Facebook for Allowing Discrimination in Housing Ads

Borrowing from ProPublica’s playbook, advocates created fake companies and bought discriminatory ads on the social network.

Machine Bias

Congressman’s Bill Would Force Trump Administration to Fulfill Pledge to Study Racial Disparities in Auto Insurance Pricing

Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., cited our report that minority neighborhoods pay higher car insurance premiums than white areas with the same risk.

Machine Bias

AARP and Key Senators Urge Companies to End Age Bias in Recruiting on Facebook

A ProPublica/New York Times report last month has raised concerns about online job ads discriminating against older workers.

Machine Bias

New York City Moves to Create Accountability for Algorithms

Spurred by a ProPublica report, the New York City Council passed the country’s first bill to address algorithmic discrimination in city government.

Machine Bias

Facebook to Temporarily Block Advertisers From Excluding Audiences by Race

The social network’s actions come after a ProPublica investigation revealed that Facebook failed to keep its promise to reject discriminatory housing ads.

Machine Bias

Federal Judge Unseals New York Crime Lab’s Software for Analyzing DNA Evidence

We asked the judge to make the source code public after scientists and defense attorneys raised concerns that flaws in its design may have resulted in innocent people going to prison.

Machine Bias

Facebook Moves to Prevent Advertisers From Targeting Haters

Following our report that advertisers could use Facebook to reach self-identified anti-Semites, the company said it would remove all audience categories based on users’ reports of their interests, education and employment.

Machine Bias

California to Investigate Racial Discrimination in Auto Insurance Premiums

The state’s insurance department is following up on our findings that eight auto insurers charge more in minority neighborhoods than in other neighborhoods with similar risk.

Machine Bias

Lawmakers Seek Stronger Monitoring of Racial Disparities in Car Insurance Premiums

In response to our report that minority neighborhoods pay higher premiums than white areas with the same risk, six members of Congress and two Illinois state senators are pushing for closer scrutiny of insurance practices.

Machine Bias

Facebook Says it Will Stop Allowing Some Advertisers to Exclude Users by Race

Facebook says it will build a system to prevent advertisers from buying credit, housing or employment ads that exclude viewers by race.

Machine Bias

Wisconsin Court: Warning Labels Are Needed for Scores Rating Defendants’ Risk of Future Crime

The court said judges can look at the scores – so long as their limitations are made clear.

Facebook Ads Can Still Discriminate Against Women and Older Workers, Despite a Civil Rights Settlement

New York Is Investigating Whether Facebook Lets Advertisers Discriminate

HUD Sues Facebook Over Housing Discrimination and Says the Company’s Algorithms Have Made the Problem Worse

We Have Some Follow-Ups for Facebook — And We Want Your Help

I Approved This Facebook Message — But You Don’t Know That

Outlets in Eight Countries Are Using Our Tool to Monitor Political Ads on Facebook

Facebook’s Experiment in Ad Transparency Is Like Playing Hide And Seek

What Does Facebook Consider Hate Speech?

Facebook’s Uneven Enforcement of Hate Speech Rules Allows Vile Posts to Stay Up

Dozens of Companies Are Using Facebook to Exclude Older Workers From Job Ads

These Are the Job Ads You Can’t See on Facebook If You’re Older

Facebook Allowed Political Ads That Were Actually Scams and Malware

Facebook (Still) Letting Housing Advertisers Exclude Users by Race

Facebook Allowed Questionable Ads in German Election Despite Warnings

German Political Ads Collected From Facebook

Putting Crime Scene DNA Analysis on Trial

ProPublica Seeks Source Code for New York City’s Disputed DNA Software

Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’

Help Us Monitor Political Ads Online

The Big Problems with Testing Tiny Bits of DNA

Thousands of Criminal Cases in New York Relied on Disputed DNA Testing Techniques

Have You Experienced Hate Speech on Facebook? We Want To Hear From You.

Despite Disavowals, Leading Tech Companies Help Extremist Sites Monetize Hate

How We Investigated Technology Companies Supporting Hate Sites

Facebook’s Secret Censorship Rules Protect White Men From Hate Speech But Not Black Children

The Car Insurance Industry Attacks Our Story. Here’s Our Response.

How We Examined Racial Discrimination in Auto Insurance Prices

Chicago Area Disparities in Car Insurance Premiums

Minority Neighborhoods Pay Higher Car Insurance Premiums Than White Areas With the Same Risk

Bias in Criminal Risk Scores Is Mathematically Inevitable, Researchers Say

Facebook Doesn’t Tell Users Everything It Really Knows About Them

Where Traditional DNA Testing Fails, Algorithms Take Over

Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race

Breaking the Black Box: How Machines Learn to Be Racist

Breaking the Black Box: When Machines Learn by Experimenting on Us

When Algorithms Decide What You Pay

Breaking the Black Box: What Facebook Knows About You

Amazon Defends Its Pricing Algorithm, But Leaves Out Billions in Sales

Amazon Says It Puts Customers First. But Its Pricing Algorithm Doesn’t

How We Analyzed Amazon’s Shopping Algorithm

Making Algorithms Accountable

ProPublica Responds to Company’s Critique of Machine Bias Story

Technical Response to Northpointe

The Senate’s Popular Sentencing Reform Bill Would Sort Prisoners By ‘Risk Score’

How We Decided to Test Racial Bias in Algorithms

What Algorithmic Injustice Looks Like in Real Life

Machine Bias

How We Analyzed the COMPAS Recidivism Algorithm

What We Know About the Computer Formulas Making Decisions in Your Life

Uber's Surge Pricing May Not Lead to a Surge in Drivers

When Big Data Becomes Bad Data

The Tiger Mom Tax: Asians Are Nearly Twice as Likely to Get a Higher Price from Princeton Review