Facebook is revealed that it will provide researchers access to the data of 1.3 million social issue, electoral and political ads that were aired on its platform between the 3rd of August and 3rd of November in 2020. This is a significant shift for Facebook as it was not willing to share this information prior to this.
This decision comes following several years of requests from academics, as well as others, to be more transparent about the ads on Facebook. The only information that Facebook has shared publicly was connected to a limited portion of the political ads that were aired in the US during the run-up to the presidential election of 2016.
The latest data dump is a treasure trove for researchers who want to know the role Facebook plays in the world of elections and other political events around the globe. The data dump will be of interest to people who are worried about the possibility of misuse of Facebook’s vast coverage and massive data collection.
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Facebook has been reluctant for years to share information on their platform with research. After many years of requests, the company finally decided to provide information on 1.3 million political, social issue, and political ads that were aired on its platform between the 3rd of August and the 3rd of November and 3rd, 2020.
This is a huge win for academic researchers who will now have access the vast amount of information that they can use to study the effect on the impact of Social media on elections as well as other political occasions.
The release of the data is coming as Facebook faces growing demands from lawmakers as well as the general public for it to boost transparency of its advertising platform. The release comes just days after Facebook announced that it would let researchers to study the effects of political advertisements in its system.