Facebook is trying to scuttle the work of New York University scientists who have actually played a crucial function in bringing attention to the business’s political ad-targeting practices.
The scientists gather info about what sorts of political ads that American citizens see on the social media platform.
Facebook (FB) required in an October 16 letter that the researchers stop gathering Facebook data through a tool NYU developed to track political ads. The letter, signed by Allison Hendrix from the company’s personal privacy and information policy group, also demanded the scientists erase all information they have collected through the tool.
Laura Edelson, a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at NYU and the lead researcher behind the project, stated in a declaration Friday night that her team had actually constructed a tool that provides analysis of political marketers’ and Facebook’s practices “that is otherwise not available to the public, and that makes clear who is attempting to affect us and why.”
The tool enables Facebook users to voluntarily share their data with the NYU researchers.
Facebook’s huge data collection on its users allows marketers “to profile residents and send them misinformation about candidates and policies that are developed to affect or perhaps suppress their vote,” said NYU teacher Damon McCoy. “Closing down an essential information source for studying election disturbance and control– in November, of all months– hampers our efforts to secure the democratic procedure.”
Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesperson, stated Friday the company informed NYU “months ago” that building a tool like this violates the business’s terms of service.
Facebook has guidelines that limit how third-party tools can be utilized to gather Facebook information.
Osborne pointed out that Facebook has developed its own tools for the public and for researchers to access details about political advertisements.
NYU likewise utilizes a few of Facebook’s tools in its research study.