In recent weeks, tensions have risen between Facebook and lawmakers and researchers who want access to the company’s data. First, Facebook banned a group of NYU academics who were studying the impact of political advertising on its platform. Then, President Joe Biden publicly accused Facebook of “killing people” by allowing misinformation to spread. And now, according to a report from The Washington Post, Facebook has increasingly cut off this data to these important outside parties.
Initially, Facebook was willing to create tools such as CrowdTriangle that tracked and shared user engagement with posts. However, according to former Facebook executive Brian Boland, the company has since begun limiting some of its features because the company isn’t happy with how the data has been used to make Facebook look bad.
“Facebook wants to select data points that would tell a story that they want to tell, but that’s not the same as actual transparency — as saying, ‘Here’s a bunch of public data where you can see what is happening on the platform so we can solve this once and for all,’” Boland told The Washington Post.
Facebook is a company that has long touted its belief in transparency. However, many of its recent actions are telling a very different story.
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