Academics slam Facebook for shutting out research into political ads

Researchers and lawmakers have slammed Facebook for disabling the accounts of academics who were analyzing political ads on the platform. The company on Tuesday shut down accounts, apps, pages, and platform access associated with the NYU Ad Observatory, which investigates the transparency of online political ads. Facebook said the team’s data collection methods violated the social network’s rules around user privacy. Laura Edelson, one of the researchers whose accounts was banned, slated Facebook’s actions: Facebook is silencing us because our work often calls attention to problems on its platform. Worst of all, Facebook is using user privacy, a core belief that we have always put…

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