Turning the tables on Facebook: How we audit Facebook using their own marketing tools

Jul 17, 2020



Researchers and journalists have found many ways that advertisers can target—or exclude—particular groups of users seeing their ads on Facebook, comparatively little attention has been paid to the implications of the platform's ad delivery process, where the platform decides which users see which ads. In this talk I will show how we audit Facebook's delivery algorithms for potential gender and race discrimination using Facebook's own tools tools designed to assist advertisers. Following these methods we find that Facebook delivers different job ads to men and women as well as white and Black users, despite inclusive targeting. We also identify how Facebook contributes to creating opinion filter bubbles by steering political ads towards users who already agree with their content.



About ICML 2020

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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