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Facebook accused of derailing study into how it affects democracy

By Andrew Griffin, The Independent, August 2019

Facebook has been accused of derailing a study that aimed to find out how it affects elections.

The company initially launched a project, alongside a group of organisations, that would see researchers try and understand the social network’s impact on democracy.

But the researchers working on the study have now threatened to quit. They say that Facebook is failing to provide the data needed to understand whether it has had a damaging effect on politics, despite pledging to make that information available.

The funders of the project said in a statement that Facebook had granted the 83 scholars selected for the project access to “only a portion of what they were told they could expect,” which made it impossible for some to carry out their research. They have given Facebook until Sept. 30 to provide the data.

Their concerns focus on the absence of data that would show which web pages were shared on Facebook as far back as January 2017.

Read the full story via The Independent