Facebook asks researchers to stop using its data
Facebook asks researchers to stop using its data

Facebook is trying to shut down researchers at New York University who have played a significant role in raising awareness of the company's political ad placement practices. This might be identical to academics who want to explore the platform without the company's permission. Are fighting.

Controversy included the New York University Advertising Monitor, launched by the New York University School of Engineering last month, with more than 6,500 volunteers using a specially designed extension to collect data on the political ads shown. on Facebook.

Researchers collect information about the types of political ads US voters see on the platform.

In a letter dated October 16, Facebook asked researchers to stop collecting Facebook data using political ad tracking tools developed by New York University.

Facebook said: The project violated the terms of service that prohibit the collection of large amounts of data from its site.

The letter was signed by Alison Hendrix, of the company's privacy and data policy team, and asked researchers to delete any data collected through the tool.

Hendrix wrote: If the university does not finish the project and remove the data it has collected, other lawsuits may arise, but Facebook later clarifies that it will continue until the end of the elections. Collect project data from New York University.

The lead researcher on the project, Laura Edelson, said her team has developed a tool to analyze political advertisers and Facebook practices unavailable to the public so that the tool shows who is trying to influence us and why. .

With this tool, Facebook users can voluntarily share their data with researchers at New York University.

Damon McCoy, a professor at New York University, said the massive collection of user data on Facebook allowed advertisers to provide false information about candidates and policies intended to affect their voting rights.

He added: The closure of the main data sources for research into influence and electoral fraud in November impeded our efforts to protect the democratic process.

Facebook spokesperson Joe Osborne said: The company told New York University a few months ago that building such a tool would be against the company's terms of service.

He added: If the project wasn't intentionally terminated, Facebook could make technical changes to the code to prevent NYU researchers from collecting the data.

Facebook has rules that restrict how it uses third-party tools to collect Facebook data.

Osborne noted that Facebook has implemented its own tools that allow audiences and researchers to access information about political ads.

NYU also uses some Facebook tools to do research. The NYU project collected more than 200,000 positioning data behind the ads.

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