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CITP Lecture: Manoel Horta Ribeiro – Content Curation in Online Platforms

Monday, March 4, 2024
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm


105 Computer Science
Photo Manoel Ribeiro

View the lecture here.

Online platforms like Facebook, Wikipedia, Amazon, and LinkedIn are embedded in the very fabric of our society. They “curate content”: moderate, recommend, and monetize it, and, in doing so, can impact people’s lives positively or negatively. This talk will highlight the need to go beyond how these curation practices are currently designed and tested and argue that academic research can and should guide policy and best practices by discussing two projects.

The first project examines a large natural experiment on Facebook that allowed measuring the causal effect of removing rule-breaking comments on users’ subsequent behavior. The second project investigates the efficacy of “deplatforming” Parler, a large social media website, on its users’ information diets. Finally, the talk will discuss future research directions on improving online platforms, emphasizing the opportunities and challenges posed by the popularization of generative AI. Altogether, the work presented indicates that we can improve online platforms—and, by extension, our lives—if we rigorously investigate the causal effect of content curation practices.


Manoel Horta Ribeiro is a final year Ph.D. student in computer science at EPFL, Switzerland, advised by Professor Robert West. Previously, he received an MSc and BSc in computer science from UFMG, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil (where he was born and raised).

His research focuses on understanding the impact of content moderation, recommender systems, and monetization in online platforms from a computational perspective. His work has been covered in outlets from El País to NBC News, in think tanks like the ICCT, and has shaped products in companies like Meta and Reddit. He is a Meta Computational Social Science Fellow, a Forbes 30 under 30 awardee, and has received awards for his teaching (from EPFL) and his research (from ACM conferences and Altmetrics).