Facebook has been accused of blocking the ability of independent researchers to effectively study how political disinformation flows across its ad platform.
Adverts that the social network’s business is designed to monetize have — at the very least — the potential to influence people and push voters’ buttons, as the Cambridge Analytica Facebook data misuse scandal highlighted last year.
Since that story exploded into a major global scandal for Facebook, the company has faced a chorus of calls from policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic for increased transparency and accountability.
Among Facebook’s less controversial efforts to counter the threat that disinformation poses to its business are what it bills “election security” initiatives, such as identity checks for political advertisers. Even these efforts have looked hopelessly flat-footed, patchy and piecemeal in the face of concerned attempts to … Read the rest