Facebook is paying US users to temporarily stop using its services. Find out why!

Edited By: Bharat Sharma WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Sep 08, 2020, 03:55 PM(IST)

FILE PHOTO: A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display in this illustration. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The company will offer money to its users to stop using the site, along with its other service Instagram

Social media giant Facebook has been in the eye of the storm globally for allegedly moulding narratives that influence elections in any major country.

In the US, both the Democrats and Republicans have accused the company of filtering out posts, or simply not filtering content enough.

Recently, Facebook said that it would assess its role in the US elections, but its details would only be divulged once the elections are over.

A step further

Now, the company has gone a step further. The company will offer money to its users to stop using the site, along with its other service Instagram.

Reported first by the New York Post, the company wants to assess the impact of social media on voting across the United States. And to ascertain the role of social media giants and their influence, the company is offering $120 to its users to deactivate their accounts in the beginning at the end of September.

Also read: Facebook unveils AR glasses with 'auditory superpowers'

Last week, Facebook’s representative tweeted that the “users will be compensated”. “Anyone who chooses to opt-in – whether it’s completing surveys or deactivating FB or IG for a period of time – will be compensated,” Facebook spokesperson had Liz Bourgeois tweeted out last week. 

“This is fairly standard for this type of academic research”, Bourgeois added.

Over 200,000 participants

Facebook believes that at least 200,000 to 400,000 people will participate in the opt-out mechanism.

“Representative, scientific samples of people in the US will be selected and invited to participate in the study”, Facebook said in a statement.

Also read: Russian influence campaign targeted left-wing voters in US and UK, says Facebook

The company added that participants will be poached out on Facebook or Instagram, with a link lingering on their profiles asking them to participate in the study.

Also read: Facebook to halt new political ads on cusp of US election

Facebook has vowed to pursue an “objective, dispassionate, empirically grounded research” to understand the correlation between social media giants and democratic elections. The company is expected to release the figures of the study next year, with research being undertaken by independent data scientists, according to the officials.

The company claimed that the study will be designed to ensure its tenets reflect the diversity of the American adult population, keeping in mind the user base of Facebook and Instagram.

Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday announced that the company would ban new political advertisements weeks before the US elections to limit the spread of false information.

The US is gearing up for elections set to take place on November 3, with incumbent president Donald Trump fighting closely with Democrat Joe Biden.

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