Facebook to study social media’s impact on democracy (From POLITICO)

Facebook’s announcement is is the latest in a string of changes the social network has made to contain the fallout from the data privacy scandal involving Cambridge Analytica. | Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook to study social media’s impact on democracy

Facebook will establish an independent election research commission that partners with academics and researchers to study the effects of social media on democracy and political elections, the company announced Monday.

"The goal is both to get the ideas of leading academics on how to address these issues as well as to hold us accountable for making sure we protect the integrity of these elections on Facebook," CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.

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The announcement is the latest in a string of changes the social network has made to contain the fallout from the data privacy scandal involving Cambridge Analytica. Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before congressional committees Tuesday and Wednesday.

Zuckerberg wrote that the company will tap foundations to create a board of academic experts who select relevant research topics and scholars to conduct studies. It will be funded by the John and Laura Arnold Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, the Omidyar Network and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook will not review or approve the findings before publication, it said. And while it will provide the researchers with access to its data, the company will take security precautions, such as housing the data on its own servers, to avoid lapses similar to Cambridge Analytica.

"This is a new model of collaboration between researchers and companies, and it’s part of our commitment to protect the integrity of elections around the world," Zuckerberg wrote.

via POLITICO https://politi.co/2lnbIsw

April 9, 2018 at 07:08AM