Facebook to conduct research on its impact on US elections

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Sep 01, 2020, 09.30 AM(IST)

Facebook Photograph:( Reuters )

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The study will be conducted by a group of 17 independent researchers specialising in elections, democracy and social media

Facebook Inc has decided to conduct a study on its impact on the society during the US Presidential elections scheduled on November 03 this year.

The social media giant will be partnering with external researchers for this study, and is expecting to publish the research by the middle of 2021.

The study will be conducted by a group of 17 independent researchers specialising in elections, democracy and social media. The group will comprise of leading academicians who study political impacts of social media.

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The study will be an addition to Facebook's Social Science One project. Facebook is estimating participation between 200,000 and 400,000.

The researchers will be provided data of what these participants see, like and post on Facebook and Instagram related to the US elections. This will help study the behaviour and any change in behavioural pattern of the participants during the course of the US Presidential elections.

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The researchers will be provided internal data and the assistance of Facebook's data scientists to conduct this research. However, the data provided will be aggravated to protect the privacy of the users participating.

During the course of the research, Facebook will be bringing in specific changes for the targeted audience, such as advertising or types of posts shown to them.

The study will be under close observation, especially after the social media giant has been accused of fake news reporting and misinformation campaigns during the 2016 presidential elections. Facebook has cleared the air by announcing that the researchers will not be restricted or paid for their findings — the cost of the resources used in the research will be borne by Facebook, though. However, the company has added that it is entitled to review the research results before it is published for the public eye.

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