CS Table 9/11/18: Fixing Facebook

For our first CS Table discussion of the semester, we’ll be looking at some of the findings and recommendations from ProPublica’s investigation of political advertising on Facebook. ProPublica began by offering a series of proposals for Facebook to reduce the potential for abuse of its advertising system in April, followed by an analysis of Facebook’s first attempt at revising their ad-tracking system. ProPublica then launched their own initiative to collect political ads shown to users who were willing to install a browser plugin. We’ll discuss the challenge Facebook faces with its advertising system, evaluate their work so far, and discuss the broader issues of ad targeting and content moderation online.

Here are the readings for this week:

Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00–12:45pm in JRC 224C (inside the Marketplace). Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).