Facebook Shut Down Political Ads Research – It’s no secret that Facebook adores advertisements. It has loaded facebook with these, as well as several Instagram features. And the company has considered adding advertisements to WhatsApp on numerous occasions. However, the whole ads thing started getting a lot of heat when a group of New York University academics was banned to access the social platform.
Now, Facebook blocked a group of New York University academics from analyzing political ads and COVID-19 misinformation by removing their personal accounts, pages, apps, and access to the platform on Tuesday. The move was made to prevent NYU’s Ad Observatory from collecting data on campaign political ads people see on Facebook using a browser add-on it developed in 2020.
The Ad Observatory was banned by Facebook when NYU researchers scraped user data without authorization, according to the social media platform’s rules of service. The Ad Observatory’s academics, on the other hand, claim that they have authorization from everyone who uses their browser add-on and Facebook’s attempt to restrict their study results from the platform’s effort to prevent academics from exposing issues.
In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Acting Director Samuel Levine wrote that Facebook’s allegation that the FTC order drove it to suspend the researchers was misleading. Although the FTC judgment directed Facebook to develop a privacy protocol and there was no need that the NYU study project to be shut down.
At least, two Democratic senators have expressed their concern with Facebook’s decision. Tech platforms should “engage with, and better empower, independent researchers,” according to Virginia Senator Mark Warner, but the firm has “apparently done the opposite.” Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar expressed her concern with Facebook’s decision to deny researchers access to political advertising data, claiming that “the company continues to sell millions of dollars worth of political ads without proper disclosures.”
Facebook claims to make information on political advertising available through its Ad Library and to supply researchers with “privacy-protected data sets” via other means.
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