Yesterday Facebook announced an interesting competition. The social media giant revealed that it has made its data available to institutes studying the social media impact on Elections with a hope to implement better rules for the platform. Mark Zuckerberg told that 60 researchers from 30 academic institutions across 11 countries are selected under the review process by the Social Science Research Council.
FB to fund research on social media impact on elections
Mark said that he wanted to begin this research since the Facebook influence campaigns were brought in to light after 2016 US elections. He said that he kept on soliciting proposals for this research from that time. While telling about it in detail, Zuckerberg said that:
“To assure the independence of the research and the researchers, Facebook did not play any role in the selection of the individuals or their projects and will have no role in directing the findings or conclusions of the research,”
He also said:
“We hope this initiative will deepen public understanding of the role social media has on elections and democracy and help Facebook and other companies improve their products and practices.”
The students who are going to have research on it will be given access to Facebook’s internal data by implementing first of its kind data sharing infrastructure in order to carry on research in the most secure manner.
Facebook executives Elliot Schrage and Chaya Nayak in a blog statement revealed that:
“Some of these steps include building a process to remove personally identifiable information from the data set and only allowing researcher access to the data set through a secure portal.
Some of the research groups selected are based at Northeastern University, Ohio State University and New York University and Virginia Tech University in the United States; France’s Institute of Political Studies; National Chengchi University in Taiwan; Italy’s Universita di Urbino Carlo Bo; University of Sao Paulo in Brazil; Germany’s Technical University of Munich; the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands; and Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.