Events, since 2016

event Published in: 2021 - October

Harvard University: Faculty working group on Social Media Recommendation Algorithms

Round table discussion on social media and recommendation algorithms

Authors: Marc Faddoul

See also: Slides

event Published in: 2021 - October

Forum for Public and Common Goods @ Pre-COP 2021, Milan.

“Climate Change and New Technologies: Aligning Public Administration and Social Activation around Decentralized Local and Global Solutions”. We participated to the round table presenting the CO-Project: “Greenwashing on Youtube”

Authors: Salvatore Romano and Marc Faddoul

See also: Slides of the CO-Project

event Published in: 2021 - October

National Order of Journalists

Training to 50 Italian journalists to the National Order: “What is an algorithm and why we should care about it. Tools for data journalists”

Authors: Salvatore Romano, Ilir Rama, Daniele Salvini

See also: Slides

event Published in: 2021 - September

End Summer Camp ESC-21, Venice.

Talk about the last research conducted on Youtube and Pornhub. This was the occasion to show our last research on Pornhub algorithm and its heteronormativity.

Authors: Giulia Corona and Claudio Agosti

See also: heteronormativity and pornography slides

event Published in: 2021 - September

HackMeeting 2021, Italian hacking festival, Bologna.

Talk about the last research conducted on Youtube and Pornhub: Smash the filter bubble!. Workshop on Youtube: tracking the climate disinformation and the ranking algorithm suggestions. Presentation on the Ten minutes talk of the Youchoose project.

Authors: Salvatore Romano

See also: Workshop slides

event Published in: 2021 - May

E-privacy 2021, Italian conference on privacy and digital rights

Due esempi di bias algoritmici: la polarizzazione su Youtube e l'eteronomartività su Pornhub. Gli algoritmi sono una soluzione tecnologica al sovraccarico di informazioni: sono tanto potenti quanto necessari per gestire l'overflow di dati che ci raggiunge. Purtroppo, possono anche nascondere l'uso di valutazioni e giudizi basati su bias che hanno un impatto sulla diffusione delle idee e della cultura. Tracking Exposed si occupa da diversi anni di rendere queste black box analizzabili in modo indipendente, sia per le ricercatrici che per utenti comuni. In questo intervento discuteremo due degli studi più recenti che abbiamo condotto sugli algoritmi di raccomandazione di Youtube e Pornhub.

Authors: Salvatore Romano

event Published in: 2021 - April

High School seminary: “Digital education, social media and algorithms”, Milan.

Social media, algorithm, and psychology: raising awareness on the digital sphere among young adults

Authors: Salvatore Romano

See also: Associazione PsychèLong documentary

event Published in: 2021 - January

FIlterTube: Investigating echo chambers, filter bubbles and polarization on YouTube — DMI UvA Winter School project pitch

Abstract: This paper studies the construction of filter bubbles and political polarization under YouTube's algorithmic personalization, in a time where the political division runs deep in the US and the 2020 election reaffirms the polarization. Using artificially generated personalized user accounts, we find that search results differ according to users' political affiliations, both in terms of the media type and political ideology of the channels suggested, showing some empirical evidence of filter bubbles' existence on YouTube, which possibly exacerbates an echo chamber behavior and enhancing political polarization in the US political debate. Project coordinated by Salvatore Romano and Davide Beraldo, Giovanni Rossetti, Leonardo Sanna

Authors: Salvatore Romano

See also: Final presentation slides

event Published in: 2020 - January

YouTube Tracking Exposed: Investigating polarization via YouTube ’s Recommender Systems — DMI UvA Winter School project pitch

Collective group work on polarization of the Brexit discussion seen through Youtube's personalization algorithm, we found out that: (1) There is evidence of progressive polarization of the recommendations around Brexit on YouTube, especially for Leave-inclined users.(2) The Leave/Remain content bubbles, constituted respectively by The Sun/The Telegraph and The Guardian/The Mirror YouTube channels rarely converge. (3) Mainstream media is recommended with greater regularity compared to natively digital channels. Project coordinated by Salvatore Romano and Davide Beraldo

Authors: Salvatore Romano

See also: Final project reportProject Pitch slides (on Prezi)Final presentation slides

article Published in: 2020 - January

Youtube Tracking Exposed — DMI UvA Winter School Tutorial

Tutorial to explain the possible uses of the ytTREX tool, try it at

Authors: Salvatore Romano

See also: Tutorial slides

event Published in: 2019 - December

Assembly with the Amazon's workers of ADL Cobas grassroots trade union

An informal discussion with some Amazon's workers inscribed to the grassroots trade union ADL Cobas Padova-Bassa Padovana and American activists from the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice group. After a brief introduction about amTREX tool, we discussed how Amazon's app tracks employees, trying to identify strategies to reduce the amount of data extracted and reflecting on potential GDPR compliance used as a tool for trade union negotiations. Partecipated by Salvatore Romano for trex.

Authors: Salvatore Romano

event Published in: 2019 - November

Porno, Algoritmi e Tordimatti!

A special event to annount! in Italian language. We tried a new format, looking forward to replicate.

event Published in: 2019 - October

KiKK - The resistance against algorithm monopoly

How many of your information comes from Youtube or Facebook? Internet is born as a decentralized network of knowledge and technologies, but nowadays, two corporations become our cultural reality. This talk will try to make understand the power exerted by the online platforms. As society, we are not following it, seeing it, fear it, and then regulate and adjudicated. Claudio Agosti will talk about, a free software project means to enable people in understanding, play, and criticize how algorithms interfere with reality's perception.

event Published in: 2019 - October

World Forum Democracy

Social media are at the core of information nowadays. This lab will tackle the pressing issue that is quality control of shared information in social media, through monitoring and accountability mechanism mainly. How can we use social media as an ally for critically assessing topical subjects? How do we hold them accountable for the information that goes through them? Is social media moderation and freedom of expression compatible? -- Leonardo Sanna has been a contract doctoral student at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy) since November 2018, where he has been working on the analysis of Big Data from a semiotic perspective. His research focuses on a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods for social media analysis. Currently, he is studying, on Facebook, the two phenomena known as 'filter bubble' and 'echo chamber'. In particular, he works on the data of the FBTREX group.

Authors: Leonardo Senna

event Published in: 2019 - September

Beyond Future design

Accountability and AI

link Extrenal resource Published in: 2019 - june

Datathon organized with berlin Data Science Social Good

data scientists analyzing one year of fbtrex data. We did a privacy assessment and defined minimization and confidentiality agreement, as collaborator of the project for the time of the experiment.

Authors: Berlin DSSG

See also: Final presentation (slides)

video Published in: 2019 - February

Transmediale: Affects Ex-Machina: Unboxing Social Data Algorithms

Conventional media have long filtered information and influenced public opinion. In the age of social media, this process has become algorithmic and targeted, separating the whole of society into thousands of small filter bubbles that construct collective orientations and pilot viral phenomena. This panel examines how machine learning and obscure algorithms analyze and manipulate individual affects into political sentiments, eventually amplifying class, gender, and racial bias ― with Claudio Agosti, Ariana Dongus, Nayantara Ranganathan, Caroline Sinders. Organized by KIM | HfG Karlsruhe

See also: Video

event Published in: 2019 - February

How to unmask and fight online manipulation

at the EDPS working group against misinformation. We highlight how research can use it and assess proper responsibilities to the actors in the misinformation chain. Platform are not neutral, we were looking how algorithm affects the information flows.

event Published in: 2019 - January

CPDP - Safeguarding elections an international problem with no international solution

Coordinated by TacticalTech. ― There is a growing body of research into data-driven elections world-wide and the international nature of the data and elections industry has been highlighted: from international platforms, to strategists in one country advising political groups in another, to paid targeted ads across borders. ― Ailidh Callander, Claudio Agosti, Paul Bernal, Victoria Peuvrelle

See also: Video

event Published in: 2019 - January

PrivacyCamp - Towards real safeguards: Data driven political campaigns and EU election

This panel aims to evaluate potential preventive mechanisms such as Facebook algorithmic transparency around online political targeting, EU Commission’s Action Plan against Disinformation, awareness raising on current and future campaigning practices, as well as efforts to protect media pluralism and freedom. ― With Fanny Hidvegi, Elda Brogi, Claudio Agosti, Josh Smith and Eleonora Nestola

event Published in: 2019 - January

Facebook Algorithm Exposed, DMI UvA Winter School

An experiment with a dozen of scholars, in keeping bots alive, test algorithm, see and play with data

Authors: Giovanni Rossetti, Bilel Benbouzid, Davide Beraldo, Giulia Corona, Leonardo Sanna, Iain Emsley, Fatma Yalgin, Hannah Vischer, Victor Pak, Mathilde Simon, Victor Bouwmeester, Yao Chen, Sophia Melanson, Hanna Jemmer, Patrick Kapsch, Claudio Agosti, Jeroen de Vos

See also: slides

video Published in: 2018 - December

CCC — Analyze the Facebook algorithm and reclaim algorithm sovereignty

Facebook monopoly is an issue, but looking for replacements it is not enough. We want to develop critical judgment on algorithms, on why data politics matter and educate, raise awareness for a broad audience.

See also: slidesvideo

event Published in: 2017 - November

World Forum Democracy — Bursting social media eco chambers

The lab will examine the detrimental effects of social media filter bubbles and algorithms and will explore solutions to make readers more aware of their reading habits and help them to integrate different worldviews.

See also: Laboratory: two pages final report

video Published in: 2017 - July

SHA2017 — Exposing what Facebook wants you to see

A talk about our early version of fbTREX, after 1 year of existence

See also: Slides

event Published in: 2017 - April

Panel discussion “exposing what Facebook wants you to see”

International Journalism Festival, Perugia

Authors: Renata Avila, Federico Sarchi, Claudio Agosti

See also: Video

event Published in: 2017 - January

Torino Hack Night

Toolbox Coworking, Turin

Authors: Constantino Carugno, Gilberto Conti

event Published in: 2016 - November project announcement

At c-base, Berlin, one of the first video of fbTREX in the wild, when the beta version was beginning

See also: Web slides

event Published in: 2016 -October (code show-off)

At the C-Base Hack'n'Tell, when Alberto won the monthly price, our new web-extension was released!

event Published in: 2016 - October (project pitch)

At PyData the very first presentation of Alberto, when he started to develop the new web-extension

Authors: Alberto Granzotto

event Published in: 2016 - September Language: Italian

Cyber Resistance in 2016 consist in doing algorithm reversing!

This is the project inception to the public! The original title was complete by saying 'not encryption anymore', but might sounds misleading. Encryption is a fundamental element for protection, simply, the impact of social media in our perception of reality is unmeasured, subtle, and potentially scaring. But is not for fear this call, is because, with centralization, we lose as individual the ability to control our own algorithm. P.S. Despite this is first appearance of the project in public, the very first birthday was here: !

Authors: Claudio Agosti