F20 Black Atlantic: Resources, Pedagogy, and Scholarship on the 18th Century Black Atlantic

Fakebook Response

Project Response
            When reviewing the digital projects and archives, one project that has really piqued my interest (and for which I will focus my response on) is the Fakebook webpage. My initial response was curiosity at how this webpage was created and what I generally look for in a good webpage is its interactive value and how easy a digital source is to interface with. But more than simply being about whether a source is interactive or not is how does this source convey information in a way that is accessible and yet tells those interacting with the site what it’s about. What Fakebook does is provides a simple paragraph about the focus of the page and then allows for the user to search through the page on their own without much direction, this provides a sort of at-your-own-pace style of learning in which the user is allowed to follow their interests while the site provides a breakdown of the components of what they are searching. For example, when I click on the tab labelled right wing, the site immediately shows me adds that the Russian backed company used to sway those with particularly right views. Moreover, the site then tells me which key words and phrases the hackers used to sway this particular individual.
            Now what I think was missing from this webpage and what I think would add more to this would be some more background information about how these adds were created, if possible what sites or algorithm did they use to determine how to tailor their add to someone of a particular political bend. To be quite honest the site seemed, despite the add examples presented, to be very bare bones. While this makes it easier for the user to interact and allows them free roam of the site a more directed approach that gives a general overview of these targeted ads and how they came about while maintaining the interactive nature of the site. But one criticism I have of this site despite how much I laud its interactivity is that the site is too text heavy, especially considering this is supposed to be a site abouts ads and yet there is not a visual example of what these ads looked like. I am thinking in particular about an article that I read in which Russian hackers created ads that were specifically targeted at Bernie Sanders voters in the 2016 election, and I think that this more than anything would further emphasize how targeted these political ads were that they were not just targeted to be of a particular political bend but were meant to sway people who would most likely vote for a particular candidate.

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