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Technology

Series

Machine Bias

Investigating Algorithmic Injustice

Dragnets

Tracking Censorship and Surveillance

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New Partnership Will Help Us Hold Facebook and Campaigns Accountable

Starting today you can download a version of the Firefox browser with the Facebook Political Ad Collector built in.

Why Am I Seeing This? Interesting Facebook Ads From Our Political Ad Collector

We’re highlighting examples from our Facebook political ad collection that are interesting because of how they’re targeted, what they say or how they can help explain how Facebook’s advertising system works — and how it can be gamed.

Facebook Is Letting Job Advertisers Target Only Men

A review by ProPublica found that 15 employers in the past year, including Uber, have advertised jobs on Facebook exclusively to one sex, with many of the ads playing to stereotypes.

The Overlooked Weak Link in Election Security

While attention has focused on the potential to penetrate voting machines, a ProPublica survey found that more than one-third of counties overseeing toss-up congressional elections have email systems that could be vulnerable to hacking.

D.C.-Based Pro-Israel Group Secretly Ran Misleading Facebook Ads to Target Pro-Palestinian Activist

The well-funded group behind the campaign, the Israel On Campus Coalition, has links to the Israeli government.

No, a Teen Did Not Hack a State Election

Hacking conference organizers said kids had hacked “exact clones” of state election reporting websites, but that didn’t happen.

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.

Facebook Promises to Bar Advertisers From Targeting Ads by Race or Ethnicity. Again.

Settling an investigation by the state of Washington prompted by a ProPublica story, the social networking company said it would no longer allow advertisers to exclude users by any federally protected categories.

Updated: Facebook Political Ad Collector

See how political advertisers target you. Use this database to search for political ads based on who was meant to see them.

Facebook’s Screening for Political Ads Nabs News Sites Instead of Politicians

The social network is letting some political ads slip through without the required verification, while blocking promotional posts by news organizations, which are pushing back.

What Facebook’s New Political Ad System Misses

Facebook announced a new system to make political ads more transparent. It’s got holes.

For Some Democrats, Facebook Likes Are a Path to Hard-to-Find Supporters

The Arizona special election campaign of Hiral Tipirneni targeted ads at people across the country who “liked” the pages of liberal icons.

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

Senators held Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to account today, grilling him while often citing our investigations. You can help keep Facebook accountable, too.

Four Ways to Fix Facebook

For years, Congress and federal regulators have allowed the world’s largest social network to police itself — with disastrous results. Here are four promising reforms under discussion in Washington.

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

From Australia to Scandinavia, our Political Ad Collector is holding advertisers accountable by revealing pitches that only a targeted slice of Facebook users would otherwise see.

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

Starting in Canada, Facebook is rolling out a global program to prevent foreign meddling in elections. Ads targeted to a narrow audience may be seen by other Facebook users — if they look hard enough.

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.

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

We’re asking a federal court for the code behind a technique that critics say may have put innocent people in prison.

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.

Service Provider Boots Hate Site Off the Internet

The web services company Cloudflare appears to have ended its relationship with the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.

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

A trove of internal documents sheds light on the algorithms that Facebook’s censors use to differentiate between hate speech and legitimate political expression.

How to Protect Your Digital Privacy in the Era of Public Shaming

Americans face unprecedented threats to the digital safety of their personal information. We offer nine tips to foil hackers, ransomware, online trackers, data brokers and other menaces.

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.

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

As we enter the era of artificial intelligence, machines regularly conduct experiments on human behavior. Here’s a look at how software used by the New York Times and New York Post uses you to test their headlines.

When Algorithms Decide What You Pay

The phone you use, the computer you own and the ZIP code you live in can all be factors in what prices you see when shopping online. Welcome to the world of mass customization.

Breaking the Black Box: What Facebook Knows About You

We live in an era of increasing automation. But as machines make more decisions for us, it is increasingly important to understand the algorithms that produce their judgments.

Machine Bias

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

Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block

A new kind of tracking tool, canvas fingerprinting, is being used to follow visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.

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