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Facebook deletes accounts of researchers working on advertising and misinformation

Facebook deletes accounts of researchers working on advertising and misinformation

The accounts of New York University researchers have been deleted through Facebook, blocking research on political advertising and misinformation. Facebook protects the data of its users.

Relations between Facebook and a section of the university have deteriorated. The personal accounts of New York University researchers (NYU) have been banned by a company working on targeted advertising and misinformation on Facebook. It claims that the data collection carried out by these experts endangers the privacy of its users.

Laura Edelson, a researcher at New York University, took to Twitter to discuss the issue after her Facebook account was closed. “Over the past several years, we have used this approach to uncover legitimate flaws in Facebook’s advertising library, to identify misinformation in political election advertisements, to identify many of the factors that distrust our electoral system, and to read the apparent multiplication.“, She explains.

Questionable NYU ad viewer, available as a Plugin For users such as tracking who pays for political ads posted on Facebook and identifying the mechanisms behind targeted ads. Work beyond tools Facebook LibraryIt aims to inform the public about advertisements in a specific effort that is transparent. Famous “Why do I see this ad?“It came from, but as the social network points out, some information is not publicly visible on Facebook.

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Facebook is hiding behind the security of its users

In A statement, Facebook defended itself by arguing that the watchdog violated its privacy policies by obtaining information without the permission of Internet users. “For several months, we worked with New York University to provide their three researchers with the precise access they requested in order to protect their privacy., Says the document. Today, after repeated attempts to bring their research to our terms, we have disabled access to accounts, applications, pages, and platforms associated with the NYU Advertising Tracking Program and its operators.“.

Facebook NYU Advertising Tracking Program indicates that Facebook has read political advertisements using unauthorized means to access and collect data on Facebook in violation of its Terms of Use. “One year ago, in the summer of 2020, we told researchers that their ad tracking extension would violate our terms even before the tool was launched.The company continues. In October 2020, we sent them an official letter regarding the violation of our Terms of Service, giving them 45 days to comply with our request to stop deleting data from our website.“.

Despite a long delay for researchers, Mark Zuckerberg’s company eventually followed suit.

Technology companies are also reluctant to investigate

For Facebook, Google, or other Internet companies, the transparency efforts made in recent years are a good way to restrict reading and publishing in their own ways. The New York Times In July, Facebook executives announced that they had decided to disband the team behind Crowdongle, a data analysis tool used by researchers acquired by Facebook a few years ago.

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Facebook executives are more concerned with correcting the perception that Facebook is augmenting malicious content than determining whether [la société] Harmful content is actually multiplied“The former staff of CrowdTangle, quoted by the American media, later explained.