Wang receives Meta grant for research on social media advertising and privacy in Global South

Yang Wang
Yang Wang, Associate Professor
Smirity Kaushik
Smirity Kaushik
Yaman Yu
Yaman Yu

Associate Professor Yang Wang has received a one-year, $100,000 grant from Meta for his project, "Global South Citizens' Privacy Perceptions and Management of Targeted Ads on Social Media." PhD students Smirity Kaushik and Yaman Yu and Informatics PhD student Tanusree Sharma will serve as co-investigators. The goal of the project is to learn from users in the Global South, with a focus on India and Bangladesh, about their experience with targeted ads.

"Users from marginalized communities tend to be disproportionally affected by practices such as user profiling and targeted advertising," said Wang. "While there is a large body of literature on users in western developed countries, we know little about users in the Global South. Through our project, we hope to uncover unique experiences and challenges faced by these individuals."

The researchers will consider four social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube), because of their popularity in the Global South and their use of ads and ad-related privacy settings. The project will consist of a series of semi-structured interviews, large-scale surveys, and co-design sessions. Participants will be recruited through the doctoral student researchers' personal social networks, word of mouth, and social media communities.

"Our project is motivated by the cultural, economic, and development differences in the Global South, where the western definition of privacy is often not applicable," said Sharma. "Also, I represent an individual from an underrepresented group—women in a South Asian country, Bangladesh. This provides additional motivation to understand the culture in a better way while we can uniquely position ourselves to conduct this research and study the users."

Wang's research focuses on usable privacy and security technologies, social computing, human-computer interaction, and explainable artificial intelligence. He earned his PhD in information and computer science from the University of California, Irvine.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Bell selected as a 2024 Global Policy Fellow

PhD student Kainen Bell has been selected as a 2024 Global Policy Fellow at the Institute for Technology and Society (ITS) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was one of ten researchers selected worldwide who share common interests in technology and its interfaces with law and who want to expand their knowledge about the Brazilian technological context. 

Kainen Bell

iSchool researchers to present at IDCC24

iSchool faculty, staff, and students will present their research in transparent data curation and cleaning, provenance management, certified transparency, and data ethics at the 18th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC24), which will be held from February 19-21 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The theme of this year's conference, which brings together individuals, organizations, and institutions across all disciplines and domains involved in curating data, is "Trust Through Transparency."

Adler and Naiman selected for 2024 NIH Grant Writing Series program

Associate Professor Rachel Adler and Teaching Assistant Professor Jill Naiman have been selected for the 2024 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant Writing Series program in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute (IHSI). Led by faculty who have demonstrated a history of success with NIH proposals, the biennial NIH Grant Writing Series is designed to prepare Illinois faculty to submit their first R01 or other individual investigator proposals to the NIH.

Internship Spotlight: NASA

BSIS+DS student Jackson Clark discusses his internships with NASA and the skills he gained, including the soft skills that come from working as part of a team.

Jackson Clark

Sun selected as 2024 PTC Emerging Scholar

Assistant Professor Meicen Sun was selected as a 2024 Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) Emerging Scholar and presented her research at the PTC Annual Conference, which was held from January 21-24 in Honolulu, Hawaii. PTC is a global, nonprofit organization promoting the advancement of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the Pacific Rim. 

Meicen Sun